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Full text of "The International Journal of Psycho-analysis III. Volume 1922 Part 3"

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At the present time, when such a great interest is felt in what are 
called ' occult ' phenomena, very definite anticipations will doubtless 
be aroused by the announcement of a paper with this title. I will 
therefore hasten to explain that there is no ground for any such 
anticipations. You will learn nothing from this lecture of mine 
about the riddle of telepathy; indeed, you will not even gather 
whether I do or do not believe in the existence of 'telepathy'. 
On this occasion I have set myself the very modest task of examining, 
the relation of telepathic occurrences, whatever may be their origin, 
to dreams: more exactly, to our theory of dreams. You will know 
that the connection between dreams and telepathy is commonly 
held to be a very intimate one; I shall propound the view that the 
two have little to do with each other, and that if the existence 
of telepathic dreams were established there would be no need to 
alter in any way our conception of dreams. 

The material on which the present communication is based is 
very slight. In the first place I must express my regret that I could 
make no use of my own dreams as I did when I wrote the 
' Traumdeutung ' (1900). But I have never had a 'telepathic' 
dream. Not that I have been entirely without dreams that conveyed 
an impression of a certain definite occurrence taking place at some 
distant place, leaving it to the dreamer to. decide whether the 
occurrence is taking place at that moment or will do so at some 

1 Paper read before the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society. Trans- 
lated by C. J. M. Hubback. 

19 283 






2 g 4 SIGM. FREUD 

later time. In waking life too I have often become aware of 
presentiments of distant events. But these indications, foretellings, 
and forebodings have none of them been fulfilled: there proved 
to be no external reality corresponding to them, and they had 
therefore to be regarded as purely subjective anticipations. 

For example, I once dreamt during the war that one of my 
sons then serving at the front had fallen. This was not directly 
stated in the dream, but was expressed in an unmistakable manner 
by means of the well-known death-symbolism of which an account 
was first given by W. Stekel. (Let us not omit here to fulfil the 
duty, often felt as inconvenient, of making literary acknowledge- 
ments!) I saw the young soldier standing on a landing-stage, 
between land and water, as it were; he looked to me very pale; 
I spoke to him but he did not answer. There were other 
unmistakable indications. He was not wearing military uniform, 
but a .ski-ing costume' that he had worn when a serious ski-ing 
accident had happened to him several years before the war. He 
stood on something raised like a footstool with a chest in front of 
him; a situation always closely associated in my mind with the 
idea of ' falling ', through a memory of my own childhood. As a 
child of little more than two years old I had myself climbed on 
such a footstool to get something out of a chest— probably 
something good to eat— whereupon I fell and gave myself a 
blow, of which I can even now show the scar. My son, however, 
whom the dream pronounced to be dead, came home from the 
war unscathed. 

Only a short time ago, I had another dream announcing 
misfortune; it was, I think, just before I decided on putting together 
. these few remarks. This time there was not much attempt at 
disguise: I saw my two nieces who live in England; they were 
dressed in black and said to me 'We buried her on Thursday'. 
I knew the reference was to the death of their mother, now eighty- 
seven years of age, the widow of my eldest brother. 

A time of disagreeable anticipation followed; there would of 
course be nothing surprising in so aged a woman suddenly passing 
away, yet it would be very unpleasant for the dream to coincide 
exactly with the occurrence. The next letter from England, 
however, dissipated this fear. For the benefit of those who are 
concerned for the wish-fulfilment theory of dreams I may interpolate 
a reassurance by saying that there was no difficulty in detecting 


by analysis the unconscious motives that might be presumed to 
exist in these death-dreams just as in others. 

Do not now urge the objection that what I have just related 
is valueless because negative experiences prove as little here as 
they do in less occult matters. I am well aware of that and have 
not adduced these instances with any intention whatever of proving 
anything or of surreptitiously influencing you in any particular 
way. My sole purpose was to justify the limitations of my own 

Another fact certainly seems to me of more significance, namely, 
that during my twenty-seven years of work as an analyst I have 
never been in the position to observe a truly telepathic dream in 
any of my patients. The people among whom my practice lay 
certainly formed a good collection of very neurotic and 'highly 
sensitive' temperaments; many of them have related to me most 
remarkable incidents in their previous life on which they based a 
belief in mysterious occult influences. Events such as accidents 
or illnesses of near relatives, in particular the death of one of the 
parents, have often enough happened during the treatment and 
interrupted it; but not on one single occasion did these occurrences, 
eminently suitable as they were, afford me the opportunity of 
registering a single telepathic dream, although the treatment 
extended over six months or a year or more. It may be of interest 
to some one to attempt an explanation of this fact, limiting as it 
does again the material at my disposal. You will see that any 
such explanation would not affect the subject of this paper. 

Nor does it embarrass me to be asked why I have made no 
use of the abundant supply of telepathic dreams that have been 
published. I should not have had far to seek, since the publications 
of the English as well as of the American Society for Psychical 
Research are accessible to me as a member of both societies. In all 
these communications no attempt is ever made to subject such 
dreams to analytic investigation, which would be our first interest 
in such cases. 2 Moreover, you will soon perceive that for the 
purposes of this paper one single dream will serve well enough. 

1 In two writings of W. Stekel (Der Telepathische Traum, no date, 
and Die Sprache des Traumes, Zweite Auflage, 1922) there are at least 
attempts to apply the analytic technique to alleged telepathic dreams. 
The author expresses his belief in the reality of telepathy. 


My material thus consists simply and solely of two communi- 

' cations which have reached me from correspondents in Germany. 

They are not personally known to me, but they give their names 

and addresses: I have not the least ground for presuming any 

intention to mislead on the part of the writers. 


With the first I had already been in correspondence; he had 
been good enough to send me, as many of my readers do, 
observations of every-day occurrences and the like. He is obviously 
an educated and highly intelligent man; this time he expressly 
places his material at my disposal if I care to turn it 'to literary 

account '. 

His letter runs as follows: 

'I consider the following dream of sufficient interest to give 
you some material for your researches. 

' I must first state the following facts. My daughter, who is 

married and lives in Berlin, was expecting her first confinement in 

the middle of December of this year. I intended to go to Berlin about 

that time with my (second) wife, my daughter's step-mother. During 

the night of November 16—17 I dreamt, with a vividness and 

clearness I have never before experienced, that my wife had given 

birth to twins. I saw quite plainly the two- healthy infants with 

their chubby faces lying in their cot side by side; I was not sure 

of their sex: one with fair hair had distinctly my features and 

something of my wife's, the other with chestnut-brown hair clearly 

resembled her with a look of me. I said to my wife, who has 

red-gold hair, "probably 'your' child's chestnut hair will also 

go red later on ". My wife gave them the breast. In the dream 

she had also made some jam in a wash-basin and the two children 

crept about on all fours in the basin and licked up the contents. 

So much for the dream. Four or five times I had half awaked from 

it, asked myself if it were true that we had twins, but did not come 

to the conclusion with any certainty that it was only a dream. The 

dream lasted till I woke, and after that it was some little time 

before I felt quite clear as to the true state of affairs. At breakfast 

I told my wife the dream, which much amused her. She said 

"Surely Use (my daughter) won't have twins?" I answered 

" I should hardly think so, as there have never been twins either 


in my family or in G.'s " (her husband). On November the 18th 
at ten o'clock in the morning I received a telegram from my 
son-in-law handed in the afternoon before, telling me of the birth of 
twins, boy and girl. The birth thus took place at the time when 
I \vas dreaming that my wife had twins. The confinement occurred 
four weeks earlier than had been expected by my daughter and 
her husband. 

'But there is a further circumstance: the next night I dreamt 
that my dead wife, my daughter's own mother, had undertaken the 
care of forty-eight new-born infants. When the first dozen were 
being brought in, I protested. At that point the dream ended. 

' My dead wife was very fond of children. She often talked 
about it, saying she would like a whole troop round her, the more 
the better, and that she would do very well if she had charge of 
a Kindergarten and would be quite happy so. The noise children 
make was music to her. On one occasion she invited in a whole 
troop of children from the streets and regaled them with chocolates 
and cakes in the courtyard of our villa. My daughter must have 
thought at once of her mother after her confinement, especially 
because of the surprise of its coming on prematurely, the arrival of 
twins, and their difference in sex. She knew her mother would 
have greeted the event with the liveliest joy and sympathy. "Only 
think what mother would say, if she were by me now! " This 
thought must undoubtedly have gone through her mind. And then 
I dream of my dead wife, of whom I very seldom dream, and had 
neither spoken of nor thought of since the first dream. 

' Do you think the coincidence between dream and event in both 
cases accidental? My daughter is much attached to me and was 
most certainly thinking of me during the labour, particularly because 
we had often exchanged letters during the pregnancy and I had 
constantly given her advice.' 

It is easy to guess what my answer to this letter was. I was 
sorry to find that my correspondent's interest in analysis had been 
so completely killed by that in telepathy; I therefore avoided his 
direct question, and, remarking that the dream contained a good 
deal besides its connection with the birth of the twins, I asked him 
to let me know what information or incidents could give me a clue 
to the meaning of the dream. 

Thereupon I received the following second letter which certainly 
did not give me what I wanted: 


'I have not been able to answer your kind letter of the 24th 
until to-day. I shall be only too pleased to tell you "without 
omission or reserve" all the associations that occur to me. 
Unfortunately there is not much, more would come out in talking. 

Well then — my wife and I do not wish for any more children. 
We very rarely have sexual intercourse, at any rate at the time 
of the dream there was certainly no "danger". My daughter's 
confinement, which was expected about the middle of December, 
was naturally a frequent subject of conversation between us. My 
daughter had been examined and skiagraphed in the summer, and 
the doctor making the examination had made sure that the child 
would be a boy. My wife said at the time " I should laugh if after 
all it were a girl ". At the time she also thought to herself it 
would be better if it were an H. rather than a G. (my son-in-law's 
family name); my daughter is handsomer and has a better figure 
than my son-in-law, although he has been a naval officer. I have 
made some study of the question of heredity, and am in the habit 
of looking at small children to see whom they resemble. One more 
thing! We have a small dog which sits with us at table in the evening 
to have his food and licks the plates and dishes. All this material 
appears in the dream. 

' I am fond of small children and have often said that I should 
like to have the bringing up of a child once more, now that I should 
have so much more understanding, interest and time to devote to 
it, but with my wife I should not wish it, as she does not possess 
the necessary qualities for rearing a child judiciously. The dream 
makes me a present of two children— I am not sure of the sex. 
I see them even at this moment lying in the bed and I recognise 
the features, the one more like myself, the other like my wife, but 
each with minor traits from the other side. My wife has auburn 
hair, one of the children chestnut (red) brown. I say "yes, it will 
later on be red too". Both the children crawl round a large 
wash-basin in which my wife has been stirring jam and lick it all 
over (dream). The origin of this detail is easily explicable, just 
as is the dream as a whole; it would not be difficult to understand 
or interpret it, if it had not coincided with the unexpectedly early 
arrival of my grandchildren (three weeks too soon), a coincidence 
of time almost to the hour (I cannot exactly say when the dream 
began; my grandchildren were born at nine p.m. and a quarter 
past; I went to bed at about eleven and dreamed during the night). 



Our knowledge too that the child would be a boy adds to the 
difficulty, though possibly the doubt whether this had been fully 
established might account for the appearance of twins in the dream. 
Still, all the same, there is the coincidence of the dream with the 
unexpected and premature appearance of my daughter's twins. 

' It is not the first time that distant events have become known 
to me before I received the actual news. To give one instance 
among many. In October I had a visit from my three brothers. 
We had not all seen one another together for thirty years (naturally 
one had seen another oftener), once only at my father's funeral 
and once at my mother's. Both deaths were expected, and I had 
had no "presentiments" in either case. But, when about twenty- 
five years ago my youngest brother died quite suddenly and 
unexpectedly at the age of nine, as the postman handed me the 
postcard with the news of his death, before I even glanced at it, 
the thought came to me at once "That is to say that your brother 
is dead ". He was the only one left at home, a strong healthy lad, 
while we four elder brothers were already fully fledged and had 
left the parents' house. At the time of their visit to me the talk 
by chance came round to this experience of mine, and, as if on 
the word of command, all three brothers came out with the 
declaration that exactly the same thing had happened to them. 
Whether exactly in the same way I cannot say; at all events each 
one said that he had felt perfectly certain of the death in advance 
before the quite unexpected news had been communicated, following 
closely as it did on the presentiment. We are all from the mother's 
side of a sensitive disposition, though tall, strong men, but not 
one of us is in the least inclined towards spiritism or occultism; 
on the contrary, we disclaim adherence to either. My brothers are 
all three University men, two are schoolmasters, one a surveyor, all 
rather pedants than visionaries. That is all I can tell you in regard 
to the dream. If you can turn it to account in any of your writings, 
I am delighted to place it at your disposal '. 

I am afraid that you will behave like the writer of these letters. 
You, too, will be primarily interested in the question whether this 
dream can really be regarded as a telepathic notification of the 
unexpected birth of the twin children, and you will not be disposed 
to submit this dream like any other to analysis. I foresee that 
it will always be so when psycho-analysis and occultism encounter 
each other. The former has, so to speak, all our instinctive 



prepossessions against it; the latter is met half-way by powerful 
and mysterious sympathies. I am not, however, going to take up 
the position that I am nothing but a psycho-analyst, that the 
problems of occultism do not concern me: you would rightly judge 
that to be only an evasion of the problem. On the contrary, 
I maintain that it would be a great satisfaction to me if I could 
convince myself and others on unimpeachable evidence of the 
existence of telepathic processes, but I also consider that the data 
about this dream are altogether inadequate to justify any such 
pronouncement. You will observe that it does not once occur to 
this intelligent man, deeply interested as he is in the problem of 
his dream, to tell us when he had last seen his daughter or what 
news he had lately had from her; he writes in the first letter that 
the birth was a month too soon, in the second, however, the month 
has become three weeks only, and in neither do we gain the 
information whether the birth was really premature, or whether, 
as so often happens, those concerned were out in their 
reckoning. But we should have to consider these and other details 
of the occurrence if we are to weigh the probability of the dreamer 
making unconscious estimates and guesses. I felt too that it would 
be of no use even if I succeeded in getting answers to such questions. 
In the course of arriving at the information new doubts would 
I constantly arise which could only be set at rest if one had the man 
in front of one and could revive all the relevant memories, which 
he has perhaps dismissed as unessential. He is certainly right in 
what he says at the beginning of his second letter, more would come 
out if he were able to talk to me. 

Consider another and similar case, in which the disturbing 
interest of occultism has no part. You must often have been in the 
position to compare the anamnesia and the information about the 
illness given during the first sitting by any neurotic with what you 
have gained from him after some months of psycho-analysis. Apart 
from the inevitable abbreviations of the first communication, how 
many essentials were left out or suppressed, how many displacements 
made in the relation the various facts bear to one another, how 
much that was incorrect or untrue was related to you that first time! 
You will not call me hyper-critical if I refuse in the circumstances 
to make any pronouncement whether the dream in question is a 
telepathic fact or a particularly subtle achievement on the part of 
the dreamer's unconscious or whether it is simply to be taken as 


a striking coincidence. Our curiosity must be allayed with the 
hope of some later opportunity for detailed oral examination of the 
dreamer. But you cannot say that this outcome of our investigation 
has disappointed you, for I prepared you for it; I said you would 
hear nothing which would throw any light on the problem of 

If we now pass on to the analytic treatment of this dream, we 
are obliged again to admit that we are not satisfied. The material 
that the dreamer associates with the manifest content of the dream 
is insufficient to make any analysis possible. The dream, for 
example, goes into great detail over the likeness of the children to 
the parents, discusses the colour of their hair and the probable 
change of colour at a later age, and as an explanation of this much 
spun-out detail we only have the dry piece of information from the 
dreamer that he has always been interested in questions of likeness 
and heredity; we are certainly accustomed to push the matter rather 
further! But at one point the dream does admit of an analytic 
interpretation, and just at this point analysis, otherwise having no 
connection with occultism, comes to the aid of telepathy in a 
remarkable way. It is only on account of this single point that I 
am asking for your attention to this dream at all. 

Rightly viewed, this dream has no right whatever to be called 
' telepathic '. It does not inform the dreamer of anything that is 
taking place elsewhere — apart from what is otherwise ' known to 
him. What on the other hand the dream does relate is something 
quite different from the event reported in the telegram the second 
day after the night of the dream. Dream and actual occurrence 
diverge at a particularly important point, and only agree, apart 
from the coincidence of time, in another very interesting element. 
In the dream the dreamer's wife has twins. The occurrence, 
however, is that his daughter has given birth to twins in her distant 
home. The dreamer does not overlook this difference, he does not 
seem to know any way of getting over it and, as according to his 
own account he has no leaning towards the occult, he only ask? 
quite tentatively whether the coincidence between dream and 
occurrence on the point of the twin-birth can be more than an 
accident. The psycho-analytic interpretation of dreams, however, 
does away with this difference between the dream and the event, and 
gives to both the same content. If we consult the association- 
material to this dream, it proves to us, in spite of its sparseness, 


that an inner bond of feeling exists between this father and daughter, 
a bond of feeling which is so usual and so natural that we ought 
to cease to be ashamed of it, one that in daily life merely finds 
expression as a tender interest and only in dreams is drawn to 
final conclusions. The father knows that his daughter clings to 
him, he is convinced that she often thought of him during the labour, 
in his heart I think he grudges her to the son-in-law, about whom 
in one letter he makes a few disparaging remarks. On the occasion 
of her confinement (whether expected or communicated by telepathy) 
the unconscious though repressed wish becomes active: 'she ought 
rather to be my (second) wife '; it is this wish that has distorted 
the dream-thoughts and is the cause of the difference between the 
manifest dream-content and the event. We are entitled to replace 
the second wife in the dream by the daughter. If we possessed 
more associations with the dream, we could undoubtedly verify and 
deepen this interpretation. 

And now I have reached the point I wish to put before you. 
We have endeavoured to maintain the strictest impartiality and have 
allowed two conceptions of the dream to rank as equally probable 
and equally unproved. According to the first the dream is a reaction 
to the telepathic message: 'your daughter has just brought twins 
into the world '. According to the second an unconscious chain of 
thought underlies the dream, which may be reproduced somewhat as 
follows: ' to-day is undoubtedly the day the confinement will take 
place if the young people in Berlin are out in their reckoning by a 
month, as I strongly suspect. And if my (first) wife were still 
alive, she certainly would not be content with one grandchild! 
To please her there would have to be at least twins.' If this second 
view is right, no new problems arise. It is simply a dream like 
any other. The (preconscious) dream thoughts as outlined above 
are reinforced by the (unconscious) wish, that no other than the 
daughter should have been the second wife of the dreamer, and 
thus the manifest dream as described to us arises. 

If you prefer to assume that a telepathic message about the 
daughter's confinement reached the sleeper, further questions arise 
of the relation of such a message to the dream and of its influence 
on the formation of the dream. The answer is not far to seek and 
is not at all ambiguous. The telepathic message has been treated 
as a portion of the material that goes to the formation of a dream, 
like any other external or internal stimulus, like a disturbing noise 




in the street or an insistent organic sensation in the sleeper's own 
body. In our example it is evident how the message, with the help 
of a lurking repressed wish, becomes remodelled into a wish- 
fulfilment: it is unfortunately less easy to show that it blends with 
other material that becomes active at the same time so as to make 
a dream. The telepathic message — if we are justified in recognizing 
its existence — can thus make no alteration in the structure of the 
dream; telepathy has nothing to do with the essential nature 
of dreams. And that I may avoid the impression that I am trying 
to conceal a vague notion behind an abstract and fine-sounding 
word, I am willing to repeat: the essential nature of dreams consists 
in the peculiar process of the "dream- work ' whereby the pre- 
conscious thoughts (residue from the previous day) are worked over 
into the manifest dream-content by means of an unconscious wish- 
activity. The problem of telepathy concerns dreams as little as the 
problem of anxiety. 

I am hoping that you will grant this, but that you will raise the 
objection that there are, nevertheless, other telepathic dreams, in 
which there is no difference between the event and the dream, and 
in which there is nothing else to be found but the undisguised 
reproduction of the event. I have no knowledge of such dreams 
from my own experience, but I know they have often been reported. 
If we now assume that we have such an undisguised and 
unadulterated telepathic dream to deal with, another question arises. 
Ought we to call such a telepathic experience a 'dream' at all? 
You will certainly do so as long as you keep to popular usage, in 
which everything that takes place in mental life during sleep is 
called a dream. You, too, perhaps say, ' I tossed about in my 
dream ', and you are not conscious of anything incorrect when you 
say, ' I shed tears in my dream ' or ' I felt apprehensive in my 
dream '. But notice that in all these cases you are using ' dream ' 
and ' sleep ' and ' state of being asleep ' interchangeably, as if there 
were no distinction between them. I think it would be in the 
interests of scientific accuracy to keep 'dream' and 'state of 
sleep' more distinctly separate. Why should we provide a 
counterpart to the confusion conjured up by Maeder who, by 
refusing to distinguish between the dream-work and the latent dream 
thoughts, has discovered a new function for dreams? Supposing 
then we are brought face to face with such a pure telepathic ' dream ', 
let us rather call it a telepathic experience in a state of sleep. 


A dream without condensation, distortion, dramatization, most of 
all without wish-fulfilment, surely hardly deserves the name. You 
will remind me that there are other mental products in sleep to 
which the name of ' dream ' is properly refused. Actual experiences 
of the day are known to be simply repeated in sleep; reproductions 
of traumatic scenes in ' dreams ' have led us only lately to revise 
the theory of dreams. There are dreams which by certain special 
qualities are to be distinguished irom the usual type, which are 
properly speaking nothing but night-phantasies, not having 
undergone additions or alterations of any kind and otherwise similar 
to the well-known day-dreams. It would be awkward, certainly, 
to exclude these imaginings from the realm of ' dreams '. But still 
they all come from within, are products of our mental life, whereas 
the very conception of the purely ' telepathic dream ' lies in its 
being a perception of something external, in relation to which 
mental life remains passive and receptive. 


The second case I intend to bring before your notice belongs 
actually to quite another type. This is not a telepathic dream, but 
a dream that has recurred from childhood onwards in a person who 
has had many telepathic experiences. Her letter, which I reproduce 
here, contains much that is remarkable, about which we cannot 
pronounce any judgement. Some part of it is of interest in 
connection with the problem of the relation of telepathy to dreams. 

r. '. . . My doctor, Herr Dr. N. advises me to give you an 
account of a dream that has haunted me for about thirty or thirty- 
two years. I am following his advice, and perhaps the dream 
may possess interest for you in some scientific respect. Since, in 
your opinion, such dreams are to be traced to an experience of a 
sexual nature in the first years of childhood, I reproduce some 
reminiscences of childhood, that is, experiences which even now make 
an impression on me and were of so marked a character as to have 
determined my religion for me. 

' May I beg of you to send me word in what way you explain 
this dream and whether it is not possible to banish it from my 
life, for it haunts me like a ghost, and the circumstances that always 
accompany it — I always fall out of bed, and have inflicted on 



myself not inconsiderable injuries — make it particularly disagreeable 
and distressing '. 

2. ' I am thirty-seven years old, very strong and in good physical 
health, but in childhood I had, besides measles and scarlet fever, 
an attack of inflammation of the kidneys. In my fifth year I had 
a very severe inflammation of the eyes, which left double vision. One 
image slants towards the other and the edges of the image are 
blurred, as the scars from the ulcers affect die clearness. In the 
specialist's opinion there is nothing more to be done to the eyes 
and no chance of improvement. The left side of my face is somewhat 
awry, from having screwed up my left eye to see better. By dint 
of practice and determination I can do the finest needlework, and 
similarly, when a six-year-old child, I broke myself of squinting 
sideways by practising in front of a looking-glass, so that now there 
is no external sign of the defect in vision. 

' In my earliest years I was always lonely, kept apart from 
other children, and had visions (clairvoyance and clairaudience) ; 
I was not able to distinguish these from reality, and was often in 
consequence in embarrassing positions, with the result that I am 
a very reserved and shy person. Since as a quite small child I 
already knew far more than I could have learnt, I simply did not 
understand children of my own age. I am myself the eldest of a 
family of twelve. 

'From "six to ten years old I attended the elementary school and 
up to sixteen the high-school of the Ursuline Nuns in B. At ten 
years old I had taken in as much French in four weeks, in eight 
lessons, as other children learn in two years. I had only to repeat 
it and it was just as if I had already learnt it and only forgotten it. 
I have never had any need to learn French, in contradistinction 
to English, which certainly gave me no trouble but was not known 
to me beforehand. The same thing happened to me with Latin 
as with French and I have never properly learnt it, only knowing 
it from ecclesiastical Latin, which is however quite familiar to me. 
If I read a French book to-day, then I immediately begin thinking 
in French, whereas this never happens to me with English, although 
I have more command of English. — My parents are peasant 
people who for generations have never spoken any languages except 
German and Polish. 

' Visions: Sometimes reality vanishes for some moments and 
I see something quite different. In my house, for example, I often 


see an old couple and a child; the house is then differently furnished. 
In hospital a friend once came into my room at about four 
in the morning; I was awake, had the lamp burning, and was sitting 
at my table reading, as I suffer much from sleeplessness. This 
apparition of her always means a trying time for me — as also 
on this occasion. 

'In 1914 my brother was on active service; I was not with 
my parents in B., but in C. It was ten in the morning on August 
the 22nd when I heard my brother's voice calling ' Mother, mother '. 
It came again ten minutes later, but I saw nothing. On August 
the 24th I came home, found my mother greatly oppressed, and in 
answer to my questions she said that the boy had appeared on 
August the 22nd. She had been in the garden in the morning, when 
she had heard him call 'Mother, mother'. I tried to comfort her 
and said nothing about myself. Three weeks after there came a 
card from my brother, written on August the 22nd between nine 
and ten in the morning; shortly after that he died. 

'On September the 27th, 1921, while in the hospital, I received 
a message of some kind. There were violent knockings two or 
three times repeated on the bed of the patient who shared my room. 
We were both awake; I asked if she had knocked; she had not heard 
anything at all. Eight weeks later I heard that one of my friends 
had died in the night of the 26th to 27th. 

' Now something which may be a hallucination, a "matter of 
opinion! I have a friend who married a widower with five children; 
I got to know the husband only through my friend. Nearly every 
time that I have been to see her, I have seen a lady going in and 
out of the house. It was natural to suppose that this was the 
husband's first wife. I asked at some convenient opportunity for 
a portrait of her, but could not identify the apparition with the 
photograph. Seven years later I saw a picture with the features 
of the lady belonging to one of the children. It was after all the 
first wife. In the first picture she looked in much better health: 
she had just been through a feeding-up treatment and that alters 
the appearance of a consumptive patient. — These are only a few 
examples out of many. > 

' The dream: I see a tongue of land surrounded by water. The 
waves are driven to and fro by the surf. On this piece of land 
stands a palm-tree, bent somewhat towards the water. A woman 
has her arm wound round the stem of the palm and is bending low 



towards the water, where a man is trying to reach the shore. At 
last she lies down on the ground, holds tightly to the palm-tree with 
her left hand and stretches out her right hand as far as she can 
towards the man in the water, but without reaching him. At that 
point I fall out of bed and wake. I was about fifteen or sixteen 
years old when I realised that this woman was myself, and from 
that time I not only went through all the woman's apprehensions 
for the man but I stood there many a time as a third who was not 
taking part and only looked on. I dreamed this dream too in 
separate scenes. As the interest in men awoke in me (eighteen to 
twenty years old), I tried to see the man's face; it was never 
possible. The foam hid everything but the neck and the back of 
the head. I have twice been engaged to be married, but the head 
and build were not those of either of the two men. — Once, when 
I was lying in hospital under the influence of paraldehyde, I saw 
the man's face, which I now always see in this dream. It was that 
of the doctor under whose care I was. I like him as a doctor but 
there was nothing more between us. 

'Memories: Six to nine months old. I was in a perambulator. 
Quite close to me were two horses; one, a chestnut, is looking at me 
very hard and in a way full of meaning. This is the most vivid 
experience; I had the feeling that it was a human being. 

' One year old. Father and I in the town-park, where a park- 
keeper is putting a little bird into my hand. Its eyes look into mine. 
I feel " That is a live creature like 3'ourself ". 

' Animals being slaughtered. When I heard . the pigs screaming 
I always called for help and cried out " You are killing a person " 
(four years old). I have always avoided eating meat. Pork always 
makes me sick. I came to eat meat during the war, but only against 
my will; now J have given it up again. 

'Five years old. My mother was confined and I heard her cry 
out. I had the feeling, "There is a human being or an animal in 
the greatest distress ", just as I had over the pig-killing. 

' I was quite indifferent as a child to sexual matters; at ten 
years old I had as yet no conception of offences against chastity. 
Menstruation came on at the age of twelve. The woman first 
awaked in me at six and twenty, after I had given birth to a child; 
up to that time (six months) I constantly had violent vomiting after, 
intercourse. This also came on whenever I was at all oppressed 
in mood. 


'I have extraordinarily keen powers of observation, and quite 
exceptionally sharp hearing, also a very keen sense of smell. I can 
pick out by smell people I know from among a crowd with my 
eyes bandaged. 

' I do not regard my abnormal powers of sight and hearing as- 
pathological, but ascribe them to finer perceptions and greater 
quickness of thought; but I have only spoken of it to my pastor and 
doctor — very unwillingly to the latter, as I was afraid he 
would tell me that what I regarded as />/«.?-qualities were minus- 
qualities, and also because from being misunderstood in childhood 
I am very reserved and shy '. 

The dream which the writer of the letter asks us to interpret 
is not hard to understand. It is a dream of saving from water, 
a typical birth-dream. The language of symbolism, as you are 
aware, knows no grammar; it is an extreme case of a language of 
infinitives, and even the active and passive are represented by one 
and the same image. If in a dream a woman pulls (or wishes to 
pull) a man out of the water, that may mean she wishes to be his 
mother (takes him for her son as Pharoah's daughter did with 
Moses), or equally she wishes him to make her into a mother, to have 
, a son by him, a son who shall be as like him as a copy. The tree- 
trunk to which the woman clings is easily recognised as a phallic 
symbol, even though it is not standing straight up, but inclined 
towards the surface of the water — in the dream the word is ' bent '. 

The on-rush and recoil of the surf brought to the mind of another 
dreamer who was relating a similar dream the comparison with 
the intermittent pains of labour, and when, knowing that she had 
not yet borne a child, I asked her how she knew of this characteristic 
of labour, she said that one imagined labour as a kind of colic, 
a quite unimpeachable description physiologically. She gave the 
association ' Waves of the Sea and Waves of Passion '.» How our 
dreamer at so early an age can have arrived at the finer details of 
the symbolism: tongue of land, palm-tree, I am naturally unable 
to say. We must not however overlook the fact that, when peopie 
maintain that they have for years been haunted by the same dream, 
it often turns out that the manifest content is not throughout quite 
the same. Only the kernel of the dream has recurred each time; the 
details of the content are changed or additions are made to them. 

s [*Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen 5 , the title of a play by Grill- 
parzer. Ed.] 


At the end of this dream, which is evidently charged with 
anxiety, the dreamer falls out of bed. This is a fresh representation 
of child-birth; analytic investigation of the fear of heights, of the 
dread of an impulse to throw oneself out of the window, has 
doubtless led you all to the same conclusion. 

Who then is the man, by whom the dreamer wishes to have a 
child, or of whose very image she would like to be the mother? 
She has often tried to see his face, but the dream never allows of 
it; the man has to remain a mystery. We know from countless 
analyses what this veiling means, and the conclusion we should base 
on analogy is verified by another statement of the dreamer's. 
Under the influence of paraldehyde she once recognized the face 
of the man in the dream as that of the hospital physician who was 
treating her, and who meant nothing more to her conscious emotional 
life. The original thus never divulged its identity, but this 
impression of it in ' transference ' establishes the conclusion that 
earlier it must have always been the father. Ferenczi is undoubtedly 
perfectly right in pointing out that these ' dreams of the unsuspecting * 
are valuable sources of information confirming the conjectures of 
analysis. Our dreamer was the eldest of twelve children; how 
often must she have gone through the pangs of jealousy and 
disappointment when not she, but her mother, obtained from her 
father the longed-for child! 

Our dreamer has quite correctly supposed that her first memories 
of childhood would be of value in the interpretation of her early 
and recurrent dream. In the first scene, in the first year of her 
life, as she sits in her perambulator she sees two horses close to 
her, one looking hard at her in a significant way. This she describes 
as her most vivid experience; she had the feeling that it was a 
human being. This is a judgement with which we can do nothing 
but agree, assuming as we do that the two horses represent, in this 
case as so often, man and wife, father and mother. It is, as it were, 
a flash of infantile totemism. If we could, we should ask the writer 
whether the brown horse who looks at her in so human a wav 
could not be recognised by its colouring as her father. The second 
recollection is associatively connected with the first through the 
same 'understanding' gaze. 'Taking the little bird in her hand' 
reminds the analyst, who by the way has prejudices of his own 
at times, of a feature in the dream in which the woman's hand 
is again in contact with another phallic symbol. 


The next two memories belong together; they make still slighter 
demands on the interpreter. The mother crying out during her 
confinement reminded the daughter directly of the pigs screaming 
when they are killed and put her into the same frenzy of pity. 
We may also conjecture, however, that this is a violent reaction 
against a death-wish directed at the mother. 

With these indications of tenderness for the father, of contact 
with his genitals, and of the death-wish against the mother, the 
outline of the female Oedipus complex is sketched. The ignorance 
of sexual matters retained so long and the frigidity at a later period 
bear out these suppositions. The writer of the letter has been 
virtually— and for a time no doubt actually— an hysterical neurotic. 
The life-force has, for her own happiness, carried her along with 
it, has awakened in her the sexual feelings of a woman and brought 
her the joys of motherhood, and the capacity to work, but a portion 
of her libido still clings to its point of fixation in childhood; she 
still dreams that dream that flings her out of bed and punishes 
her for her incestuous object-choice by 'not inconsiderable 

injuries '. 

And now a strange doctor's explanation, given in a letter, is 
to effect something that all the most important experiences of later 
life have failed to do. Probably a regular analysis continued 
for a considerable time might have some success. As things were, 
I was obliged to content myself with writing to her that I was 
convinced she was suffering from the after-effects of a strong 
emotional tie binding her to her father and from a corresponding 
identification with her mother, but that I did not myself expect 
that this explanation would help her at all. Spontaneous cures 
of neurosis usually leave scars behind, and these smart from time 
to time. We are very proud of our art if we achieve a cure through 
psycho-analysis, yet even so we cannot always prevent the formation 
of a painful scar in the process. 

The little series of reminiscences must engage our attention for 
a while longer. I have on one occasion stated that such scenes of 
childhood are 'screen-memories' selected at a later period, put 
together, and thereby not infrequently falsified. This subsequent 
elaboration serves a purpose that is easy to guess. In our case one 
can practically hear the ego of the writer glorifying or soothing 
itself throughout the whole series of recollections. 'I was from 
a tiny thing a particularly large-hearted and compassionate child. 


I learnt quite early that the animals have souls as we have, and 
could not endure cruelty to animals. The sins of the flesh were 
far from me and I preserved my chastity till late.' With declarations 
such as these she loudly contradicts the inferences that we have 
to make about her early childhood on the basis of our analytical 
experience, namely, that she had an abundance of premature sexual 
emotions and violent feelings of hatred for her mother and her 
younger brothers and sisters. (Beside the genital significance 
assigned to it, the little bird may also have that of a child-symbol, 
like all small animals; her memory also accentuates in a very 
insistent way that this tiny creature had the same right to exist 
as she herself.) The short series of recollections in fact 
furnishes a very nice example of a mental structure with a two-fold 
aspect. Viewed superficially, we may find in it the expression of 
an abstract idea, here, as usually, with an ethical reference. In 
H. Silberer's nomenclature the structure has an anagogic content; 
on deeper investigation it reveals itself as a chain of phenomena 
belonging to the region of the repressed life of the instincts — it 
displays its psycho-analytic content. As you know, Silberer, who 
was among the first to issue a warning to us on no account to lose 
sight of the nobler side of the human soul, has put forward the 
view that all or nearly all dreams permit such a two-fold 
interpretation, a purer, anagogic one, beside the ordinary, psycho- 
analytic one. This is, however, unfortunately not so; on the 
contrary, an over-interpretation of this kind is rarely possible; there 
has been no valuable example of such a dream-analysis with a 
double meaning published up to the present time within my 
knowledge. But something of the kind can often be observed 
within the series of associations that our patients produce during 
analytic treatment. The successive ideas are linked on the one 
hand by an obvious and coherent association, while on the other 
hand you become aware of an underlying theme which is kept secret 
and at the same time plays a part in all these ideas. The contrast 
between the two themes that dominate the same series of ideas is 
not always one between the lofty anagogic and the common psycho- 
analytic, but is rather that between shocking and decent or neutral 
ideas — a fact that easily explains how such a chain of associations 
with a two-fold determination arises. In our present example it is 
of course not accidental that the anagogic and the psycho-analytic 
interpretations stand in such a sharp contrast to each other; both 



relate to the same material, and the later tendency is the same as 
that seen in the reaction-formations erected against the instinctive 


Now why did we make such a special search for the psycho- 
analytic interpretation instead of contenting ourselves with the more 
accessible anagogic one? The answer to this is linked up with many 
other problems: with the existence of neurosis itself and the 
explanations it inevitably demands, the fact that virtue does not 
reward a man with the joy and strength in life that is expected from 
it, as though it brought with it too much from its original source 
(this dreamer too had not been well rewarded for her virtue), and 
there are various other reasons that I need not discuss before this 


So far, however, in this case we have completely neglected the 
question of telepathy, the other point of interest in it for us; it is 
time to return to it. In a sense we have here an easier task than 
in the case of Herr G. With a person who so easily and so early 
in life succumbed before reality and replaced it by the world of 
phantasy, the temptation is irresistible to connect her telepathic 
experiences and 'visions' with her neurosis and to derive them 
from it, although here too we should not allow ourselves to be 
deceived as to the cogency of our own arguments. We shall merely 
replace what is unknown and unintelligible by possibilities that are 
at least comprehensible. 

On August the 22nd, 1914, at ten o'clock in the morning, our 
correspondent experienced a telepathic impression that her brother 
who was at the time on active service was calling: 'Mother, 
Mother! '; the phenomenon was purely acoustic, it was repeated 
shortly after, but nothing was seen. Two days later she sees her 
mother and finds her much depressed because the young man had 
announced himself to her by repeatedly calling 'Mother, Mother!' 
She immediately recalls the same telepathic message, which she had 
experienced at the same time, and as a matter of fact some weeks 
later it was established that the young soldier had died on that day 
at the hour stated. 

It cannot be proved, but also cannot be disproved, that instead 
of this what happened was the following: the mother told her one 
day that the son had sent this telepathic message; whereupon the 
conviction at once arose in her mind that she had had the same 
experience at the same time. Such delusory memories arise in the 



mind with the force of an obsession, a force derived from 
real sources — they have, however, substituted material for psychical 
reality. The strength of the delusory memory lies in its being an 
excellent way of expressing the sister's tendency to identify herself 
with the mother. ' You are anxious about the boy, but I am really 
his mother, and his cry was meant for me; I had this telepathic 
message.' The sister would naturally firmly decline to consider our 
attempt at explanation and would hold to her belief in the authenticity 
of the experience. She simply cannot do otherwise; as long as the 
reality of the unconscious basis of it in her own mind is 
concealed from her she is obliged to believe in the reality of her 
pathological logic. Every such delusion derives its strength and 
its unassailable character from its source in unconscious psychical 
reality. I note in passing that it is not incumbent on us here to 
explain the mother's experience or to investigate its authenticity. 

The dead brother is however not only the imaginary child of our 
correspondent; he represents also a rival regarded with hatred even 
at the time of his birth. By far the greater number of all telepathic 
presentiments relate to death or the possibility of death: when 
patients under analysis keep telling us of the frequency and 
infallibility of their gloomy forebodings, we can with equal regularity 
show them that they are fostering particularly strong death-wishes 
in their unconscious against their nearest relations and have therefore 
long suppressed them. The patient whose history I related in 
1909 (' Notes on a Case of Obsessional Neurosis ') was an example 
to the point; he was even called a ' corpse-bird ' by his relations. 
But when the kindly and highly intelligent man — who has since 
himself perished in the war— began to make progress towards 
recovery he himself gave me considerable assistance in clearing up 
his own psychological conjuring tricks. In the same way the account 
given in our first correspondent's letter of how he and his three 
brothers had received the news of their youngest brother's death 
as a thing they had long been inwardly aware of appears to need 
no other explanation. The elder brothers would all have been 
equally convinced of the superfluousness of the youngest arrival. 

Another of our dreamer's ' visions ' will probably become more 
intelligible in the light of analytical knowledge! Women friends 
have obviously a considerable significance in her emotional life. 
News of the death of one of them is conveyed to her shortly after 
the event by knocking at night on the bed of a room-mate in the 


hospital. Another friend had many years before married a widower 
with several (five) children. On the occasion of her visits to their 
house she regularly saw the apparition of a lady, whom she felt 
constrained to suppose to be the dead first wife; this did not at first 
permit of confirmation, and only became a matter of certainty with 
her seven years later on the discovery of a fresh photograph of the 
dead woman. This achievement in the way of a vision has the 
same inner dependence on the family-complex already recognised 
in our correspondent as her presentiment of the brother's death. By 
identifying herself with her friend she could in her person achieve 
her own wish-fulfilment; for all eldest daughters of a numerous 
family build up in their unconscious the phantasy of becoming the 
father's second wife by the death of the mother. If the mother is 
ill or dies, the eldest daughter takes her place as a matter of course 
in relation to the younger brothers and sisters, and may even in 
respect to the father take over some part of the functions of the 
wife. The unconscious wish fills in the other part. 

I am now almost at the end of what I wish to tell you. I might 
however add the observation that the cases of telepathic messages 
or occurrences which have been discussed here are clearly connected 
with emotions belonging to the sphere of the Oedipus complex. 
This may sound startling; I do not intend to publish it as a great 
discovery, however. I would rather revert to the result we arrived 
at through investigating the dream I considered first. Telepathy 
has no relation to the essential nature of dreams; it cannot deepen 
in any way what we already understand of them by analysis. On 
the other hand, psycho-analysis may do something to advance the 
study of telepathy, in so far as, by the help of its interpretations, 
many of the puzzling characteristics of telepathic phenomena may 
be rendered more intelligible to us; or other, still doubtful 
phenomena be for the first time definitely ascertained to be of a 

telepathic nature. 

There remains one element of the apparently intimate connection 
between telepathy and dreams to be considered: namely, the 
incontestable fact that sleep creates favourable conditions for 
telepathy. Sleep is not, it is true, indispensable to the 
accomplishment of the process— whether it originates in messages 
or in an unconscious activity of some kind. If you are not already 
aware of this, you will learn it from the instance given by our 
second correspondent, of the message coming from the young man 



between nine and ten in the morning. We must add, however, that 
no one has a right to take exception to telepathic occurrences on 
the ground that the event and the presentiment (or message) do 
not exactly coincide in astronomical time. It is perfectly conceivable 
that a telepathic message might arrive contemporaneously with the 
event and yet only penetrate to consciousness the following night 
during sleep (or even in waking life only after a while, during 
some pause in the usual mental activity). We are, as you know, 
of opinion that dream-formation itself does not necessarily wait for 
the onset of sleep to begin. Often the latent dream-thoughts 
may have been lying ready during the whole day. till at 
night they find the contact with the unconscious wish that shapes, 
them into a dream. But if the phenomenon of telepathy is only an 
activity of the unconscious mind, then no fresh problem lies before 
us. The laws of unconscious mental life may then be taken for 
granted as applying to telepathy. 

Have I given you the impression that I am secretly inclined to 
support the reality of telepathy in the occult sense? If so, I should 
very much regret that it is so difficult to avoid giving such an 
impression. In reality, however, I was anxious to be strictly 
impartial. I have every reason to be so, for I have no opinion; 
I know nothing about it 





In April 1919 a doctor sent a boy aged ten and a half years to me 
•for analysis. The child was small for his age and very thin; he 
suffered from numerous obsessional symptoms. He was unable to 
touch anything himself so that his mother had to dress him and 
feed him. If anyone, above all his mother, touched anything with 
one hand the object touched had to be put back again in its former 
place, the same action carried out with the other hand, and then 
finally with both hands. He was particularly sensitive if anyone 
placed one object beside another one. He himself simply would 
not touch anything at all; if, however, this happened by chance then 
his mother had to carry out the ceremonial. In consequence of this, 
every action was bound up with so many ceremonies that it often 
took several hours to carry them out; his mother asked me to reserve 
an hour in the afternoon for her as she could not get the boy 
dressed and ready till half past twelve. The child was literally 
starved, because while eating he spat out every mouthful once or 
several times into his mother's hand because it was not put into 
his mouth ' properly '. Both he and his mother had to take up a 
certain position before eating; if one foot was in advance of the 
other a ceremonial had to take place until both feet were perfectly 
in line. If anything happened contrary to his compulsion he 
literally writhed with pain. At such times he would often seem to lose 
consciousness, then he would fall into a rage, throw himself on his 
mother, tear her clothes off, twist her hands as hard as ever he 
could, and often bite her (on her first visit to me she showed me a 
scar on her cheek where he had bitten her); this would end in a 
fit of convulsive sobbing and he would fall exhausted into a chair. 
These attacks of loss of consciousness had led one of the best- 
known neurologists in Warsaw to diagnose the case as one of 
epilepsy. When the boy was told after one of these attacks what 



he had done to his mother he would burst into tears and beg for- 
giveness. When conscious normally he was an obedient, good child, 
in fact, too good. Apart from the compulsive symptoms, he con- 
stantly suffered from severe headaches, and also complained that 
' there was a stone in his chest which rubbed against him '; he 
was constantly jerking himself because the stone irritated him, and 
was never quiet for a moment. Before his illness he had attended 
a state school in Minsk, where he had learned very well and appeared 
gifted. I am quite unable to give any description of the degree of 
his inhibition of thinking; for the most part he could not think at 
all because of his headaches. 

The illness broke out while he was living in Minsk under the 
Bolshevik government, when the population and particularly the 
Jews (his family among them), went through terrible experiences. 
His grandfather had fled before the entry of the Bolsheviks 
and had been fined 100.000 roubles in consequence, so that the 
boy's father had also fled from the Bolshevik town in order to 
escape the persecutions; his grandmother had been arrested but was 
soon allowed to go free again. Several drastic searches through the 
house had been made; in short, everyone was constantly trembling 
for their life and this had had a shattering effect on the sensitive 


His mother told me that the first sign of the illness manifested 
itself by the child constantly lifting up his feet one after the other 
in the street and looking at the soles. (During the analysis new 
obsessive acts constantly came to light. I am unable to say whether 
they all arose as ' transitory ' symptoms, or whether his mother had 
forgotten to mention them at the beginning.) He and his mother 
were literally martyrs to the illness; his mother had to go through 
all his compulsive ceremonials as well as himself, therefore really 
suffered as he did from the illness; and in this way he obtained 
almost exclusive possession of her. It struck the parents very much 
that, whereas formerly he had loved his father and been loved in 
return, since the illness he would not let his father kiss him, neither 
would he go out with him nor remain alone with him in the house. 
On the other hand he would not allow his mother to leave him for 

a moment. 

The treatment, which lasted altogether six weeks, was not a 
psycho-analysis in the strict sense of the word. The patient dreamed 
very little, during the first two or three weeks not at all, and later 


only rarely and fragmentarily; in these six weeks he had only a 
few well-formed dreams such as regularly appear during the 
treatment in other cases. At the beginning of the treatment I aimed 
exclusively at overcoming the extremely reserved and difficult 
character of the boy and his inhibition of thinking, in order to 
enable me to establish some sort of contact with him. My influence 
was therefore partly analytical and partly pedagogical, but was 
based throughout on analytical knowledge. 

I was particularly struck by two details of his obsessive acts. 
First, why it affected him so much if anyone placed one object, 
upon another, and why the space had to be clear in front of any object 
which had to be moved; secondly, why everything had to be touched 
by both hands at once, or else the movement had to be corrected by 
a complete ceremonial when the object was touched by mistake with 
one hand only. I asked him to tell me whatever ideas came to him 
about it, and whether he knew anything about the origin of this 
peculiar compulsion. He told me that before he became ill he once 
wanted to climb through a window on to the balcony that ran round 
the house, but his little sister's nurse told him he must not do it; 
if he did God would punish him by stopping him growing. But he 
did it all the same. 'Why do you want there to be a clear space 
in front of the thing? ' ' If there isn't one the thing won't grow, 
and the hand that does it will get shorter. The thing must be put 
back by the same hand, taken away again and put back by the other 
hand, and then again by both hands, and then everything will be all 
right again'. 'Do you believe that things grow, then? ' 'No, not 
now, but I did once'. 

(It was clear to me from this that we were concerned with the 
breaking of a prohibition and the prevention of punishment by God. 
I soon learned how very firmly fixed was the child's belief in his 
own omnipotence, and how the whole illness and also his recovery 
lay in his and not in my power.) 

'Very well, but what makes you force your mother to do that 
too; she will not grow any more? ' I do not remember his actual 
words, but they were to the effect that it was to prevent an illness 
in his mother. 

Soon after the treatment began, I think after about a week, 
I came upon an unexpected obstacle, namely, a secret which the 
child could not possibly betray, a regular taboo. It was interesting 
how he emphasized that if anyone at all knew it then it would no 


longer be a secret and everybody might know it. Even his mother 
to whom he told everything might not know it. He must not speak 
of this subject at all, or why he mustn't tell it to anyone, not even 
if his health depended on it. All my direct and indirect labours 
in this direction were fruitless for several days; so I finally left it 
alone and turned my attention to other things. Up to now nothing 
had been said about anything sexual; he had asked no questions 
relating to this although I had assured him that he might ask me 
anything and I would answer all his questions. I thought that I 
might discover the secret by this path. Soon after this the boy told 
me that the servant had got married and had left in consequence. 
'What does "getting married" mean? Do you know?' 'No, I 
mustn't know that, I am too little'. 'Who told you that?' 'I 
know it myself. I explained to him how untrue that was; it meant 
that he had a certain amount of knowledge already, but certainly 
not the real knowledge. But that sort of untrue knowledge in 
people makes things seem nasty which are not nasty in themselves 
and cannot be nasty, because nothing in nature is nasty. In 
restricting his own knowledge in this way he restricted his knowledge 
about everything else in the world; on account of this he could not 
learn and by trying not to' think he gave himself these headaches. I 
suggested to him that we should turn this nasty subject to a scientific 
one, and that he should learn what other children of his age know. 
The explanation of sexual things lasted several days; I began with 
illustrations from the propagation of flowers and prompted him 
to draw his own conclusions. Then I returned gradually and 
unnoticeably to the secret, and said I had helped him as much as I 
could but now I did not know what was troubling him any more. 
It must be the secret, and there must be some reason why it should 
have to be kept so secret. He must help me now so that I can 
help him further (he felt himself somewhat easier at that time); 
therefore he must trust me with ' the secret '. He did not want to 
promise that he would tell it me next day; the child's honesty and 
love of truth was so great that he never promised anything without 
being quite sure of keeping his word; he insisted that he must think 
it over till next day. At last he told me the following secret: he had 
a friend in Minsk called Monja who said that he possessed an 
armoured motor car for use against the Bolsheviks. In it there was 
everything necessary for defeating the enemy and for escaping; the 
car was connected by electricity with Monja's house, and would 


appear as soon as there was danger. A new version of 'Table, 
table, lay yourself ' from the fairy tales, equipped with all the most 
modern inventions! Monja intended to save the lives of his own 
and the little patient's family from the Bolsheviks by means of the 

So after all it was nothing sexual; on the other hand, it was 
a kind of magic into which no one must be initiated, otherwise it 
would lose its power. His friend was the great man in all this, the 
powerful magician. I might add that the word ' magician ' had a 
magical effect on my patient; he was fascinated by it as though he 
had been waiting a long time for this word. In the interpretation 
of dreams (which later he took part in eagerly with me) he was 
always very pleased if there was any opportunity to see himself 
instead as the magician. 

He now talked incessantly about Monja. Monja knew a great 
deal that he didn't know; he had initiated him (in his way) into 
sexual secrets, for instance, he had learnt that children come into 
the world ' by the man lying on the woman '. Monja was physically 
the stronger, he was also impudent and naughty to his parents and 
was often in disgrace and beaten by them; in this respect also 
therefore he was superior to the timid obedient child who had been 
much pampered by his parents, until the time when he had acquired 
a desire to be impudent and naughty which he could only succeed in 
by the way of losing consciousness. Monja had also set fire to the 
child's imagination in the sadistic direction; he told him all the 
best-known detective stories — he was very well-read in this sub- 
ject — and also about terrible surgical operations performed with 
big knives mounted on springs. After the explanation about sex 
the boy often asked me about operations during child-birth, 
forceps, etc. Once he said, ' I know a man who always has to hold 
his head upright and look at the sky; does that come from his being 
pulled out of his mother's body with forceps? ' 

I will now endeavour to describe how the symptoms gradually 
disappeared in the six weeks of treatment. One symptom replaced 
another and new ones were always appearing. Many of the symptoms 
were simplified editions of those that had disappeared; for example, 
if anyone knocked against a piece of furniture with one side of his 
body he had to touch that object with the other side, or, if his 
foot kicked his mother's shoe when out for a walk he immediately 
went round to her other side to do the same thing there. For a 


long time he had made movements with both hands round about 
his nose; his mother told me that he had copied this from an insane 
person whom he had seen in Minsk. This person also occurred in 
his dreams. For some time he would not allow anyone to come 
near his mother's bed, in which he slept with her, because one side 
of the bed was close against the wall. If anyone did touch the bed 
he climbed right across it. At the end he added to each affirmative 
remark a negation; for example, give me some tea, don't give me 
any tea; I will, I will not; I understand, I don't understand, etc. 

Unfortunately I possess very few notes of this case; the first 
refer to a dream which occurred a month after the treatment was 
begun. As far as I can remember the patient had dreamed very 
little up to this time, and an analysis of the dreams was very 
difficult to carry out. I have only noted three dreams altogether. 
I have to depend more on general impressions and memories and 
on the pedagogic means I employed than on psycho-analytic material. 
The symptom about touching things properly disappeared soon after 
the conversation in which he betrayed its origin. On this occasion 
I tried to explain to him the significance of the stone in his chest 
which oppressed him; it was his uneasy conscience, a figurative 
representation of the expression ' my heart is like a stone '. This 
symptom also disappeared before long. It was only during the latter 
part of the treatment that I succeeded in weaning him of the attacks 
of loss of consciousness. I had soon noticed that these states were 
very superficial, and that they represented the only means — apart 
from the symptoms, and much more simply than these — of trans- 
gressing parental prohibitions. It was simply naughtiness disguised 
by a loss of consciousness, i.e. his revenge on his mother who was 
so 'naughty' as to create children with his father. I pointed out 
to him how remarkable it was that he who was otherwise such a 
good boy only had these states of losing consciousness when he did 
what other children usually do when they are naughty, for instance, 
grinding his teeth, biting his mother, tearing her clothes, etc. Then 
I asked his mother in his presence to tell him every time everything 
that he did in his unconscious condition, in spite of his tears. • If 
you want to be naughty be so consciously and storm at your mother ', 
I said jokingly, ' I promise that you will become good again when 
you are well '. Then I endeavoured to prove to him that these 
states were almost pure simulations. I once intentionally provoked 
one of these states, and when he tried to throw himself on his mother 


I caught hold of his hands forcibly and put him down in a chair. 
He cried out as if possessed ' Mama, Mama ', but I still kept hold 
of his hands and said, 'You are not conscious and yet you call 
Mama; how do you know Mama is not with you? ' Then I joked 
with him and tickled his nose and he defended himself. After we 
had become friends again and he was quite convinced that I was 
honestly trying to make him well and had already cured him of 
many things, I asked him to make a sacrifice. I explained to him 
that he really had two illnesses: one a genuine one which had to be 
treated medically, and the other an imagined one caused by his 
parents making everything too easy for a sick child, because they 
were afraid of his tears and his losing consciousness, so that they 
gratified all his unreasonable wishes in order to prevent these states. 
But this method was harmful to a child; it learns in that way to 
obtain profit and privileges from the illness. This second, not 
genuine illness is even dangerous because one cannot cure the first 
until the patient will give up the advantages of being ill. When 
one is healthy much greater pleasures can be obtained than those 
which have to be bought with so much torture. The intelligent 
child understood and believed me. I proposed that we should go 
immediately to his mother (who always waited in the next room 
for him) and that he should ask her not to gratify any of his wishes 
even if he lost consciousness and stormed at her when she refused. 
He was to renounce the privileges of the illness. It was quite 
touching to observe how he struggled with himself and finally agreed. 
Losing consciousness disappeared soon after. 

In a similar manner T brought about a discontinuance of the 
obsessive acts which had to be shared with his mother. At the 
beginning of the illness his mother was only rarely forced to go 
through his compulsive ceremonials too, but this gradually increased 
until it became almost constant. Shortly before the end of the 
treatment I simply forbade that his mother should acquiesce in this 
respect, and told them that she did it because she was afraid to 
oppose him and therefore, as he knew, had done much to encourage 
his illness. He could perform his obsessive acts alone and these 
we shall know how to cure, but I did not want to treat his mother, 
so he must leave her in peace. My firmness, together with the 
interest and sympathy which it was a proof of, in contrast to the 
parents' compliance, triumphed again this time. 


I will now quote the three dreams I noted, since they are charac- 
teristic of the illness. 

The first dream proves once again the real nature of the vaunted 
innocence of children, and how they actually take in everything in 
spite of the strongest prohibitions. ' Three girls were sitting in a 
perambulator with white veils over their heads. A man drove 
some boys away '. During the analysis of the dream he added, ' The 
perambulator went by itself '. 

Associations. One of the girls was like a waitress in a restaurant 
which he had to pass on coming to see me. Waitresses are ' bad 
women ', they are beastly. 

His mother once told his father how she had met a young man 
in the street, walking along with three girls; he was the son of one 
of her acquaintances and a ne'er-do-well. His father said, ' The 
dirty beast '. He knew what his father thought, the young man does 
' it ' with the girls. 

Veils are worn at weddings. When coming to see me on 
Ascension Day he had seen a little girl going to a procession, 
dressed in white and wearing a white veil; the man who was with 
her was like the one who drove the boys away in the dream. 

The day before he had also dreamed of a perambulator, and said 
he had asked his mother to buy one so that he could take his little 
sister out in it during the summer holidays. He also said the 
perambulator in the dream had only three wheels, and that there are 
some like that which have one in front and two behind. 

The dream is fairly clear. Two facts can be derived from the 
three in one in the perambulator. (1) The three girls are the women 
the ' dirty beast ' lived with. (2) All three are dressed in white like 
the little girl in the procession, and also like a bride at her wedding, 
symbolizing innocence. We conclude therefore that it concerns 
scorn of ' innocence '. The central point of the condensation is the 
perambulator, which reminds him. of his little sister who was borne 
by his mother; the mother is the ' dirty beast ', that is, the waitress 
whom he sees on coming to me. The scorn therefore refers to the 
innocence of his mother, to the secret of the bridal dress. The man 
who resembles the one who was taking the girl to the procession 
is none other than he who goes with the ' innocent ' ' beastly ' girls, 
i.e. his father, who hinders him from sexual intercourse with his 
mother, i. e. ' drives away the boys '. The dream indicates rage 
against the parents who have procreated his little sister. 


The details of the three wheels and ' going by itself ' of the 
perambulator (? = onanism) were not elucidated. 

The second dream which occurred about ten days before the 
termination of the treatment was as follows: 'Someone had touched 
papa's hand and it had become shrivelled up and paralysed. No, 
not papa's, somebody's; yes, it was papa's. I do not know whether 
it was papa's or somebody else's. Then I, mama, papa, and my 
little sister were drawn up in line (describes exactly how)j and a man 
touched both my hands and they became shrivelled up and paralysed. 
Papa said to this man in Hebrew, " There he is again ". I called 
out in great pain, " How unhappy I am! " and fell down into a 
chair'. He awoke in such a fright that he roused his mother and 
would not let her go to sleep again. Then he added, 'It seems to 
me I thought something else. Someone, perhaps it was grand- 
father, wished to cheat a man of some power; the gas, telephone, 
100.000, this was the power.' 

During the analysis he said vaguely that in the dream papa too 
had been cured by touching. 

Associations. He began by saying that he already knew he had 
been a magician again in the dream. 

The man who touched both his hands wore a fur-lined coat like 
one he wanted for the coming winter; the man's cap was like his 
school cap. The man was definitely himself. His grandfather had 
once said jokingly, ' A boy as big as he could now help his parents '. 
He now makes himself out to be really grown-up in the dream. 
The man also resembled an official who was connected with a school- 
friend's parents; this man was arrested by the Bolsheviks and 
condemned to a year's imprisonment but escaped. The Bolsheviks 
had fined my patient's absent grandfather 100.000 roubles; then 
they had arrested his grandmother, but immediately set her free 
again. His father had had to flee because he would have been 
persecuted in place of his father. His father once used the same 
words as in the dream to his mother when the boy continually placed 
himself in a position where he prevented his father from writing. 

There was an insane woman who went about in Minsk. It 
was said that if she touched or spat on anyone's hand he would 
become ill, just as he and his father in the dream. He had always 
been very much afraid of her, but the other children teased her. 

'I am so unhappy ', he often said when he was very much 
tortured by the illness. In the dream he also could not utter the 



words properly, just like a dumb person in Minsk who could cry 
out and yet could not pronounce anything. 

He had never seen the person who touched his father. On the 
other hand he knew how his father was cured, also by contact. When 
the children returned from Minsk with their mother his father was 
very much troubled at the account of his illness, and now his father 
was pleased at his getting better. 

I only interpreted the dream in a general way to the patient. 
It was he, as he had at once correctly guessed, who performed the 
magic. But how did he do it, and what magic? The ' somebody ' 
and the ' man ' is he himself; this he understood clearly from the 
associations. As this man he carried out two acts. First, he 
practised magic on his father and made him ill at the same time, 
and in this role he represents himself as an adult. He also identified 
his father and his grandfather, since both were threatened by the 
Bolsheviks (the arrested officials). Secondly, he practised magic on 
himself, with very little distortion; he is the naughty boy who 
intentionally makes his father angry by preventing him from writing. 
In this role he is superior to his father; in reality too his father's 
health depends upon him, as he explained to me. He can carry out 
magic ceremonials as he does in his illness, which his father 
cannot do. It is as though he were angry with his father, as though 
among other things he were ill Jn order to torment his father. But 
why the rage, why is he so furious, since he is the powerful one? 
In the dream he has just reversed the real order of things; at one time 
his father was the strong man, the great magician who possessed the 
secret sexual power (in the penis) with which we are already 
acquainted. He had made his son furious on account of this, as we 
also know already. In my very few notes I have not noted whether 
I spoke of onanism at this point, but it is highly probable, since 
during the treatment it came out that he had masturbated before 
the illness in Minsk, but gave it up on his mother threatening him 
that it would make him ill. This was already the second period of 
masturbation as far as I can recollect. The first period was when 
he was about four years old and at that time his mother had told 
him he must always keep his hands outside the bedclothes. How 
much I clearly explained to him about the fear of castration and 
whether this explanation was in connection with the dream, which 
would have been an excellent opportunity, I do not remember, 
which proves that little was said about it. He repeated the same 


reversal in regard to the grandfather who wishes to cheat ' somebody ' 
of a great power (gas, telephone,; he had wi shed to cheat 
the strong grown-up man out of it. It was not he but hit grand- 
father who possessed the roubles; but what he cheated 
someone of is very suspicious. It is only adults who possess real 
sexual power; his magic (onanism) which originated in his .thirst for 
revenge, in his wicked wishes against his father and grandfather, has 
made him unhappy, stunted him like the insane person, and made 
him simply ill, like the dumb man. 

During the interpretation of the dream and especially the second 
part he became more and more restless and continually lost con- 
sciousness, or he kept repeating 'Yes-no', also that he wanted 
to go to the country and asked when I would let him, etc. 

I will just add a couple of remarks since this dream is very 
characteristic of the patient's obsessive acts. It more than any- 
thing is concerned with the fear of castration. He had perhaps 
heard threats of castration from his father and grandfather, since 
they had all lived together in Minsk and also before the war. Ur 
else it merely concerned his father and the fragment which refers 
to his grandfather, who wishes to cheat him out of his power is 
only an allusion which would be necessary at the beginning of the 
dream Why does he actually practice magic on his father, i.e. 
wish to make him ill? He makes a displacement here: ' Perhaps the 
grandfather was the one'. He does everything better than his 
father: he invents the magic whereby he does everything himself 
(onanism), and then the ceremonial which alludes to the paralysis 
of the hands. However, he receives two new penes in place of tne 
possibly castrated one. (In the dream he practises magic on only 
one of his father's hands, but on both of his own. The hand i. 
merely a symbol of the penis. And so many things, two hands 
both sides of the body, he utilises in all his compulsive ceremonials.) 
This seems to be only a repetition of the details in the first, dream: 
one wheel, two wheels, self-propulsion. 

The question still arises: What is the origin of the great terror 
in the dream which prevents him from sleeping and makes him keep 
his mother awake? Does it originate in material slumbering deeply 
in the unconscious? No, it comes from the approaching recognition 
of the mechanism of the illness itself which makes itself an outlet 
in the dream. The whole thing was not genuine magic on his part 
but a miscarried cheating which made him unhappy. 


Two days later he dreamed: Papa has marched into Minsk and 
received four months furlough. Mama and he ran continually up 
and down stairs. A number of women were drawn up in the room 
where the men were inspected. 

Associations. His father had marched into Minsk, but was 
discharged on account of chronic catarrh. 

More than three months furlough was never given in the 
Russian army; but he thought perhaps he had been given four 
months furlough. 

The drawn-up women were women and mothers who were waiting 
for their inspected husbands and sons. 

Interpretation. I explained to him what the four months fur- 
lough signifies. As the maximum was three months furlough, his 
father would have been at the front by the fourth month. What 
happens at the front? More or less clearly he answered that someone 
might be killed at the front. His mother was not among the women 
who were waiting for their husbands, since she was going up and 
down stairs with him. I explained to him the symbol of 'going up 
stairs '. He did not reply but the next moment began to tell me 
all the detective stories which Monja had told him, of Sherlock 
Holmes, Arsene Lupin and Pinkerton, and what an impression the 
tales had made on him, and how Monja's mother scolded her boy for 
it, and how Monja had sewn two velvet masks for them like those 
worn by bandits in one of the stories. 

On the next day his mother told me that the boy had been 
frightfully nervous the whole day, and complained that I had tried 
to persuade him that he wanted to kill his father or that he wished 
his father was killed. He added emphatically (when with me) ' I 
shall never be convinced that I think thai'. Thus he drew con- 
clusions from things that I had only hinted at. 

As I have already said, new obsessive actions were con- 
stantly replacing those that disappeared during the treatment. 
Whether they were transitorily produced or only revived, they 
were definitely characteristic of the different stages of the cure. 
They became more and more simple; the obsessive symptoms were 
only apparently complicated throughout, fundamentally they were 
quite unitary. Their starting-point was the 'transgression' 
(stepping over) of a prohibition (climbing through the window 
instead of going through the door), which originally concerned 



onanism. The thing common to all the obsessive acts was, 
(i) Touching; a magic act or an enchantment, which makes possible 
the transgression of the prohibition ( = onanism, as a substitute for 
sexual intercourse). (2) The ceremonial; a magic disenchantment, 
which prevented the consequence of the touching ( = castration and 
illness, as a result of onanism). 

It is interesting to note that the last obsession manifested itself 
as the constant negation of something he had said (will, will not, 
table, not a table, etc.). This seems to be the most extreme expression 
of the simplified version of it, the kernel of the ambivalence itself. 
A couple of days before the termination of the treatment, i.e. before 
he went away for his summer holiday, I asked him to explain to me 
why he added this ' no ' to everything he said. He explained, ' If, for 
instance, mama forgets to give me some tea I say " mama, give me 
some tea ", and then add " don't give me any tea ". It is as though I 
had said nothing, and yet mama knows she should give me some 
tea'. Is not this explanation a beautiful contribution to the 
psychology of the origin of his obsessive acts? 

One day before his departure, after a quite touching farewell, 
I asked him to promise me to dress himself in the country, and 
so to touch everything. He would not promise this, since to the 
honourable little fellow a promise signified a genuine word of 
honour, he only said he would do his best to carry out my wish. 
His mother came to see me a few weeks later and said his efforts 
had been completely successful. She also said that my authority 
was so great that he could be got to do anything by using my name, 
a result which must be ascribed first and foremost to the process 
of laying bare the structure of his disease, which in fact took place 
without any trace of shame. His mother said that in other respects 
the boy was doing very well; sometimes traces of the past illness 
could be observed, otherwise there was nothing to report. He was 
generally very happy, was becoming more and more of a rogue and 
looked very well. A few weeks later the mother called again to see me 
with the boy, but I was on my holidays. They also called to see the 
doctor who had sent him to me, and he found the boy quite well. 
The treatment was to have been continued after the summer holi- 
days; I am even now not certain of the cure being a complete and 
permanent one. I have not seen him since, however, which 
indicates that he is going on satisfactorily, for there is no doubt 
that the parents — who were Jews of little education — would other- 


wise have been afraid I had not done my utmost and would have 
insisted on the treatment being continued. 

I have often asked myself how the rapid disappearance of the 
patient's apparently very serious condition is to be explained, and 
I have come to the following conclusions. In spite of the child's 
strong constitutional disposition to it, the obsessional neurosis had 
not had sufficient time to form itself into a well-established system; 
first because the patient was so young, and secondly because he so 
soon came for treatment — six months after its development. 
Everything else in the illness except the obsessional neurosis was 
simply naughtiness which had hidden itself in a cowardly manner 
behind the hysterical components which always accompany the 
obsessional neuroses to a greater or less degree. 

The success of the treatment, which was due more to pedagogic- 
psychological methods, aided by the insight afforded by psycho- 
analytical knowledge, than to a methodical analysis, enables me to 
understand the means by which other psycho-therapeutists outside 
psycho-analysis attain similar results. The chief factor in every 
successful mental and pedagogic cure is always the transference, 
even when used by doctors and educators either unsystematically 
or unconsciously. Psycho-analysis has made it possible, by means 
of the systematisation of the transference, and of free association, 
to bring into consciousness the repressed material. If to these 
curative agents we add the pedagogic struggle with the secondary 
advantage through illness we have not only enriched the equipment 
of psycho-analytic therapy, but have probably turned everything 
that was found to be of use in other mental curative methods to 
account for our purposes. 






The analysis of the case reported by Dr. Sokolnicka is in my opinion 
of quite special interest, since the starting-point of the individual 
neurosis, the trauma, consists in a popular belief. In the first place 
this case again demonstrates the essential identity of the individual 
and the collective form of repression of primal impulses, and 
secondly, it suggests the hope that individual analysis and social 
anthropology may in this case be employed to elucidate each other. 

The outbreak of the phobia was occasioned by the statement of 
the nurse: ' A child must not be lifted through a window because 
then it will not grow any more '. In Mecklenburg there is a saying: 
'One must not pass a child through a window, or it will stop 
growing '; and also: ' A person who is still growing must not step 
in or out through a window, unless he returns by the same way'. 

If anyone passes a child to another person through an opening 
which is so low that a grown person cannot stand in it, as through 
a window or a trap-door, the child must be passed back through 
this same opening or it will not subsequently attain full growth.' 
In Holstein, Mecklenburg, Silesia, East Prussia and Thuringia, 
babes at the breast must not be handed through a window, and if 
a child is lifted through a window, it must be passed back through 
the same window or it will not grow (East Prussia, Wetterau, 
Brandenburg, Baden, Swabia), or it will become a thief (Baden, 
Silesia). Further, it must always be carried into a room feet 
foremost (Silesia). 2 

But yet another phobia of the child described by Dr. Sokolnicka 
reminds us strikingly of the fear of being lifted through the window: 
if someone handed him any article with the right hand and in so 

* Translated by C. P. O. 

1 K. Bartsch: Sagen, MSrchen und Gebrauche aus Mecklenburg. 
1880, Bd. II, S. 51. 

a Wuttke: Der deutsche Volksaberglaube, 1900, S. 391. 




doing passed it over another article, he insisted that the person 
should take it back with the left hand and then, grasping it with both 
hands, give it to him: unless this were done, the articles would not 
grow.' It is exactly like the popular belief: one must not step over 
a child because the child will not grow, or if such a calamity has 
inadvertently taken place one must undo the spell through stepping 
back over it in the reverse direction. 8 Both these prohibitions 
are frequently enumerated alongside each other among our data and 
this parallelism is surely no matter of chance; the writer scents the 
same unconscious meaning for both prohibitions: 'A child which, 
is handed in through a window, does not grow bigger. The same 
applies if one steps or jumps over a child— in so doing one lays 
a spell upon his growth and in order to undo the spell one must 
pass back over him'." 'One must not call little children toads, 
must not step or jump over them, or they will not grow any more, 
unless one passes in the contrary direction over them. Further, 
a little child must not be allowed to crawl between anyone's legs, 
or through a window, or under the shafts of a waggon: or if he 
does, he must at least crawl back again. A babe at the breast must 
not be handed through a window: moreover, it must not be carried 
into a room except feet first, otherwise it will go out of the room to 
its death.' 5 So when we find that windows or the legs of a living 
person have an identical significance in popular belief, we naturally 
suspect that the house in this case represents a woman, the window 
represents the vagina, and passing through or lifting over represents 
coitus For we know from analysis that a fear that an object will 
not grow is a castration-fear; growing thus represents erection. 
In the last phase of the illness, the boy had the habit of saying 
'yes' 'no' to everything: the same ambivalence also finds 
expression in the crossing over and back and passing over and 
back of popular belief. What he really wishes ts to be passed 
through the window, for the n he, or in other words, his penis, must 

» For examples see Roheim: Psycho-Analysis es Ethnologic Ethno- 
graphia, 1918. p. 64, 213. Also J. G. Frazer: ' Not to step over 
persons and things » in ' Taboo and the Perils of the Soul', Golden Bough, 

3rd Edition, 1911, P- 4 22 - _ 

* Fr. Schonwerth: Aus der Oberpfalz, Sitten und Sagen, 1857, Bd.I, 

S. 181. 

5 P. Dreschler: Sitten, Brauche und Volksglaube in Schlesien, 1903, 

Bd.I, S. 212. 


grow; the same applies to the objects, which all belong to penis- 
symbolism, only that both in folk-lore and in neurosis the wish can 
come to expression only in a form influenced by repression. 

The interpretation of stepping over as coitus can also be 
demonstrated purely from folk-lore, and through this the psycho- 
analytic interpretation seems doubly assured. 

An Anglo-Saxon prescription directs that a woman who has 
miscarried shall go to the barrow of a dead man and step thrice 
over it, thus conjuring away the effects of the miscarriage. 6 Whilehere 
we see how still-birth can be connected with stepping over (i.e. 
having intercourse with) a dead man, by the reversal of the cause 
and effect relation, in other cases we find a repression-form of the 
same unconscious content. For instance, in South Africa, stepping 
over another person is regarded as highly improper. 7 In order 
to accelerate a birth (in the county of Bdkes, Hungary) the husband, 
after undressing himself stark naked, steps over his wife three 
times and gives her something to drink out of his mouth. In the 
counties of Pest, Heves and Szolnok (Hungary) the same occurs, 
except that the husband also touches the abdomen of the woman 
in labour carefully with his foot. If this is of no avail, the man 
cuts off some of his pubic hair, to which he sets light so that the 
smoke comes in contact with the vagina of the woman. If delivery 
still fails to occur, he then has intercourse with the woman in 
labour. 8 Under the pressure of increased psychic tension (the 
delay in parturition) we see a progress from symbolism to reality 
and the libido ousting repression step by step. First there is 
the act of stepping over, then the pubic hair of the two persons 
is brought into contact, with smoke as an intermediary, and 
lastly, coitus. 

• E. S. Hartland: The Legend of Perseus, 1894, Vol.1, p. 165, 
quoting 0. Cockayne: Leechdoms, Wortcunning and Starcraft of Early 
England, 1866, Vol. Ill, p. 66. 

7 J. Macdonald: Manners, Customs, Superstitions and Religions of 
South African Tribes, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 
Vol. XX, pp. 119, 130, 140. Stepping over equivalent to contact or 
coition with woman; castration fear occurs as a consequence. 

8 Temesvary: Volksgebrauche und Aberglaube in der Geburtshilfe 
und der Pflege der Neugeborenen in Ungarn, 1900, S. 50, 54. The 
drinking from the mouth signifies a displacement from below of the 
ejaculation of semen. 



Among the Baganda, when the first fish is offered as a sacrifice 
to the god Mukasa, the remainder is consumed by the fisherman 
and his wife (fish signifying embryo!), after which the man jumps 
over the woman. In order to assure a successful issue in war, 
the chieftain has intercourse with his wife and then jumps over 
her. ' In every case when jumping over a wife or stepping over 
her legs is mentioned, it is regarded by the Baganda as equivalent 
to, or instead of, having sexual intercourse with her '." In the 
light of the Baganda data we can understand the meaning of the 
Bakongo custom which prescribes that a widow must sit on the 
ground and stretch out her legs while the brother of the deceased 
husband steps over them. After this she is 'purified', i.e. rid of 
the dead man's ghost, and will be free to marry when the time 
of her widowhood is completed. 10 If the act of stepping over 
signifies coitus, it is evident that this ceremony is a survival of 
the levirate. 11 She has to be wedded at least symbolically to her 
husband's brother before she can be passed on to another man. 

A significance similar to that of windows is also to be ascribed 
to thresholds. 12 The significance of stepping on to a threshold and 
jumping over it is a double one but nevertheless homogeneous. On 
the one hand the act indicates a hostile intention against the owner 
of the house. For example, in Gocsej, a saying runs: 'whoever 
treads on the threshold treads on the owner and thereby hastens 
his death.' 18 On the other hand when the husband lifts the bride 
over the threshold 1 * we have one of those frequent cases in which 

9 J. Roscoe: The Baganda, 1911, pp. 357. 395; als0 see the same 
PP- 17. 53. 55- 57. 63. 144. 206, 363, 378, 428, 459- 

10 J. H. Weeks: Among the Primitive Bakongo, 19 14. P- 273. 

11 cf. J. G. Frazer: Folk-lore in the old Testament, 1919, Vol.11, 
p. 263. See below on jumping over as a marriage ceremony. 

" See Theodor Reik: Die Tiirhuter, Imago, I9 I 9. B d- V, especially 

S. 349. Anm. 1. 

18 F. Gonczi: Goczej, 1914, S. 340. Zu den Schwellenriten. Also 
see van Gonneh: Les Rites de Passage, 1909. I shall not enter further 
into the functional meaning of these rites here, as this has already been 
done by others (compare in this connection Felszeghy's paper on ' Janus ' 
read before the Hungarian Psycho-Analytical Society). 

" cf. J. G. Frazer: Folklore in the Old Testament, 1919, Vol. Ill, 
pp. 1-18. W. Crooke: The Lifting of the Bride, Folk-Lore. 1902, 
Vol. XIII:, Samter: Geburt, Hochzeit und Tod, 1911, S. 136-46. : 


a ceremonial act appears as an imitative introduction of the 
realistic one which follows, i.e. coitus: first there is a compromise 
between libido and repression (symbol) and then the unrepressed 
form of action. 15 

If the threshold represents the vagina, it becomes evident why 
dead (and particularly, still-born) children, whom the family desire 
to be re-born and to thrive, are buried under the threshold. 38 In 
Dharwar the bride steps on the Ashma, the supernatural stone, in 
which the spirit of an ancestor resides, so that the latter's soul 
may be reincarnated in her." In Fife they say that a child will 
have a hare-lip if a woman steps over the place where a hare has 
been lying: 18 that is, stepping over is equivalent to intercourse with 
the hare, whereby the hare impregnates the woman and is re-born 
of her in the form of a child. 10 The Jewish bride and groom 
step over a stone in accord with the precept of the Targum Onkelos 
' so that they may multiply like the fish of the sea '. 20 

The anxiety of Yorkshire mothers that their daughters should 
not stride over a broom, as well as the unconscious intention of 
boys who try to make them do this, is of course connected with 
the belief that, ' if a girl strides over a besom handle she will be 

15 cf. R6heim: Spiegelzauber, 1919, S. 136, Anm. 3. Perhaps the 
hostile intention against the owner dominates in treading on the threshold, 
whereas coitus is indicated by jumping over. Taken together the two 
indicate both the aggressive and the erotic trend in the infantile Oedipus 

16 J. G. Frazer: Folk-Lore in the Old Testament. Anthropological 
Essays presented to E. B. Tylor, 1907, p. 172. Also note the custom 
of burying the after-birth or placenta (the double of the child) under the 
threshold so that the children of the family will thrive. R. T. Kaindl: 
Haus und Hof bei den Huzulen. Mittetittngen der Anthropologischen 
Gesellschaft in Wien, 1896, Bd. XXVI, S. 182. 

17 W. Crooke: 'The Lifting of the Bride'. Folk-Lore, 1902, 
Vol. XIII, p. 236. Compare Dreschler: Sitte, Brauch und Volksglauben 
in Schlesien, 1903, Bd. I, S. 264. 

18 Crooke: I.e., p. 237. 

19 In this belief the doctrine of re-incarnation reveals itself as a 
wish-fulfilment in the sense of the Oedipus-complex. I shall shortly 
amplify this idea in a work on Totemism in Australia. 

20 W. Crooke: 1. c, p. 238. Compare E. Westermarck : Marriage 
Ceremonies in Morocco, 1914, pp. 293, 299. Also Samter: Geburt, Hoch- 
zeit und Tod, 1911, S. 136. 



a mother before she is a wife '. If an unmarried woman has 
a child people say 'She jumped o'er t'besom' or 'She jumped o'er 
t'besom before she went to t'church'. 21 According to Serbians, 
Bulgarians and Greeks, a corpse will be re-animated as a vampire 
if a cat jumps over it; coitus with the dead leading to a ghastly 
form of life. 22 

Thus in all these instances ' stepping over ' manifestly signifies 
intercourse, but we must not forget that another element is contained 
in the custom about 'passing through a window'. This concerns 
not only stepping over, but also pulling through. Now these 
customs in regard to pulling through have already been recognised 
by Liebrecht and Zachariae as magic repetitions of birth. 23 

The well-known bifurcated trees (Zwieselbdume) through which 
sick children are drawn have a similar significance. Such healing 
powers are however not by any means attributed to every forked 
tree; it is necessary that at the point of junction of the limbs the tree 
should have a formation resembling the female genitals. There 
is a tree in Lutzow with just such a contour: above the junction 
there is a bulging which looks exactly like an abdomen with hips 
and navel. The whole aspect therefore resembles the lower part 
of the body of a woman who is spreading open her legs; the 
curative power lies in this resemblance: whoever crawls through 
the legs of a woman is re-born. For this reason women push 
sickly children through their own legs at night or let them crawl 
through. 24 

» S.O. Addy: Household Tales with other traditional Remains, 1895, 
p. 102. A besom is laid across the path by which the new maid-servant 
has to come to the house (p. 13) as an augury of her industrious habits, 
but originally probably with the intention that she should step over it. 

23 W. R. S. Ralston: The Songs of the Russian People, 1872, p. 412. 
G.F.Abbott: Macedonian Folklore, 1903, pp.219, 22 °- F- S. Krauss: 
Slavische Volksforschungen, 1908, S. 125, 126. 

2 »- See Liebrecht: Zur Volkskunde, 1879, S. 379; Zachariae: ' Schein- 
geburt', Zeitschrift des Vereins fur Volkskunde, 1910, Bd. XX, S. 153. 

24 K. Bartsch: Sagen, Marchen und Gebrauche aus Mecklenburg, 
1879, Bd. I, S. 418. The fact that it is also prohibited to call a child a 
toad (in connection with the prohibition of crawling through, see above), 
may arise because the toad is a symbol for the uterus. See R. Andree: 
Votive und Weihegaben des katholischen Volkes in Siiddeutschland, 1904, 
S. 130. The pregnant woman is drawn through a hoop. Ploss-Bartels: 
Das Weib, 1908, Bd. I, S.311. She is led over the threshold three times 


Having found above that the acts of crawling through someone's 
legs or through the window are regarded in Silesia as equivalent, 
we can arrive from this standpoint at another meaning of the 
custom and of the individual phobia. When a child is passed 
through a window it is, symbolically speaking, passed back into 
the womb, that is, it returns by the same route that it passed at 
birth and therefore cannot grow, because an embryo cannot grow 
beyond a certain size. This would also constitute the explanation 
for another prohibition which is frequently mentioned in the same 
breath by investigators: a child may only be carried feet first into 
a room, else it will go straight to its death. Of course a child 
comes into the world head first; inasmuch as death is conceived 
as a return to the womb, the child would die if it were carried 
in the room head first. It is not difficult to guess how the two 
meanings can be reconciled. 

To return to Sokolnicka's case. The boy's fear of castration 
did not refer to sexuality in general, but first and foremost to 
coitus with his mother. Therefore being lifted through the window 
does not in this instance signify any indifferent sexual intercourse, 
but the incestuous one, in which he would actually pass through 
the very genital organ which he had already come through at birth. 
The reason why the rite (and also the taboo) comprises the two 
meanings of birth and of intercourse is probably to be found in 
the fact that in its deepest nucleus it symbolizes the incestuous 
sexual act. 25 

(Ploss-Bartels, op. cit., S. 310) or she steps over the feet of her husband 
who lies on the floor or over the ' dishlo ' (a rod connecting the shafts 
which enclose the middle horse in a troica). 

"See S.Freud: ' Aus der Geschichte einer infantilen Neurose', 
Sammlung kleiner Schriften. Vierte Folge, 1918, S.625.. 






Every psycho-analyst will be able to bring illustrative evidence in 
confirmation of Dr. Abraham's valuable and instructive paper.* To 
comment adequately on it would demand a monograph in itself. 
It is perhaps worth while, however, to publish a couple of notes 
taken from material that passed through my hand at the time of 
reading the paper. 

i The girl associates the wish for a penis with the wish for 
a gift from the father (first penis, later child). The following 
unfortunate combination of circumstances reinforced a strong 
castration complex in a woman patient. There was only one other 
child, an elder brother of whom she was both jealous and envious. 
He had a congenitally deformed foot and the father took the 
greatest pains to get this right. He took him regularly to a famous 
surgeon in London, where the boy had among other treatment no 
fewer than eleven operations, and at home he used to massage the 
boy's leg twice a day, to the neglect of the girl. They were ultimately 
successful with the leg, but the girl felt that every effort was made 
to give the boy a good member and none at all to remedy her 
predicament. That the foot is a common unconscious symbol for 
the penis has been extensively established. 

The girl played with dolls until she was three, when a baby was 
born in her best friend's house, after which she became masculine, 
took no more interest in dolls or babies and absolutely refused to 
bear a child even when happily married. 

1 See this Journal, 1922, Vol. Ill, p. 1. 



2. Depreciation of the male organ as a defence against envy. 
A woman dreamt that a certain man had a dead second face on the 
side of his head and thought 'Poor fellow, why doesn't he have 
something done to diminish the deformity? ' The association was 
to a useless squinting eye of a boy friend, which looked outwards 
to the side of his head. In childhood he had proudly exhibited 
his penis before her, and she had responded with the thought that 
' he was making a fuss about nothing '. 

3. Castration fears connected with deflowering a virgin. As 
Freud has pointed out in his 'Tabu der Virginitat', the savage 
custom of getting someone other than the husband to perform the 
first act of coitus is due to the fear of arousing the woman's 
resentment at being made finally into a woman, with the consequent 
desire in her to punish the doer by castrating him. Abraham 
illustrates this reaction from neurotic cases. In the Voiage and 
Travaile of Sir John Maundeville (p. 285), which dates from the 
fourteenth century, the author describes an island in the Far East 
where this custom holds, ' for thei of the Contree holden it so gret 
a thing and 'so perilous, for to have the Maydenhode of a woman, 
that hun semethe that thei that haven first the Maydenhode, puttethe 
him in aventure of his Lif.' The inhabitants explained the custom 
as an inheritance from ancient times when 'men hadden ben dede 
for deflourynge of Maydenes, that hadden Serpentes in hire Bodyes, 
that stongen men upon hire Yerdes, that they dyeden anon.' The 
belief is evidently of the talion order, that a man who injured a 
woman by deflowering her with his 'yard' (middle English for 
penis) would suffer in the same part at the hands of her ' serpent '. 






A Magical Dream Wish 

Mrs.H., who had written her first book, received one afternoon a 
very complimentary letter from a high authority on the subject, and 
was very elated about it. The same afternoon her younger girl 
N. became ill, which rather disturbed the joyful feeling of the house. 
The next morning after breakfast, being asked for the letter, she 
could not find it anywhere. She had taken it to bed with her; and 
all she remembered was that she had put it in the morning into her 
dress pocket together with other papers. After some search it 
suddenly struck her that she might have thrown the letter into the 
fire accidentally with some other papers; though she could not conceive 
how she could have been so careless with a letter she valued so much. 
Anyhow, a search in the hearth led to the discovery of the charred 
remains of the letter, so that there was to her chagrin no further 
doubt of what she had done. My own suggestion was that this could 
not have been a mere accident. The letter was too precious to 
Mrs.H. to be destroyed thus by her — even carelessly. 

The attempt of analysing the incident was by no means an easy 
one. In the course of the analysis Mrs.H. reported the following 
dream which she had had the night preceding the burning of the 
letter: 'The treasured letter she had received dropped into the 
marmalade (which was on the tea table) and turned somehow into 
crumbs (of bread and butter).' The analysis of this dream brought 
the following explanation: N., the younger daughter, had been 
feeling ill soon after the letter had been received, and would only 
have bread and butter with marmalade for tea. In the dream that 
followed in the night the letter changed into crumbs, as if N. had 
eaten it. Mrs.H., on finding that her child took ill the very afternoon 
she had received the letter, had had the thought: 'Fate does not 
allow unalloyed joy.' That was a common feeling of her's about life 




in general, but especially so in her own case. N. by partaking of 
the letter in the dream somehow incorporated it in herself. The 
letter was thus made to act in a way as a magical charm. At the 
same time it was a sort of vicarious sacrificial offering to fate 
in order to ward off the illness of the child. The burning of the 
letter on the next morning surely had not been an accident. It was 
an unconscious offering to the gods on the part of the mother for her 

It hardly needs pointing out that this dream presents a striking 
parallelism with primitive belief. We need only refer to the 
partaking of love potions, of special dietaries, etc. which are supposed 
to act as magical charms. The story of a patient who literally ' took ' 
a prescription and got well from it, is based upon the same idea. 
The notion of vicarious sacrifical offerings among primitive peoples 
is too well-known to need further elaboration. 

Truly a dream like the one recounted shows deep kinship with 
the primitive past in a most convincing manner. It may not be 
unnecessary to point out that the lady in question is in no way given 
to superstitious or mystical leanings. She is extremely rational; 
certainly exceptionally so for a woman. 

A Reminiscent Dream 

Mrs. K. dreamt that she was cycling by the side of a tramcar, 
and her teeth were caught by the brass bar on top of the car as 
it moved along. She was dragged along by the moving car, which 
caused her agonizing pain in her mouth. Suddenly she heard a 
voice say: 'How many more?'; and another voice replied: 'Two 

iWhat is interesting about the dream (which was not analysed) 
is the fact that it repeats in substance an occurrence that happened 
to the lady three days earlier under narcosis. 

The lady in question had all her teeth drawn under chloroform. 
She seemed to recover a little, when the anaesthetist asked: 'How 
many more?'; whereupon the operator replied: 'Two more.' 

What is more remarkable still is that the lady herself did not 
know of this conversation at the time, nor did she remember 
anything of it or of the extraction. But after the dream it appeared 
to her as if she had heard that conversation somewhere. 

Truly an eclatant proof of the continuity of the unconscious! 



A Prophetic Dream 

Mr. J., a railway man, had an accident on the railway in which 
his ribs were very severely bruised, without however leaving any 
permanent after-effects. More than two years later he developed 
pleurisy which became purulent. In spite of many explorations the 
focus could not be found and the case lingered on for some weeks. 
A friend urged the patient, who was in hospital, to tell the doctor 
that he had been hurt some years ago, but the patient pooh-poohed 
the idea as irrelevant. The same afternoon, after the friend had 
left, the patient fell into a doze from which he awoke with a 
terrific scream. On being questioned by the nurse what was the 
matter with him, he related that he had just had a dream in which 
the accident of over two years ago was re-enacted by him. He 
pointed out the place where he had been hurt at that time. 

Operation in that spot was undertaken, and more than a pint 
of pus was found, which up to then had escaped detection. The 
patient made from then an uninterrupted recovery. 




A patient during analysis mentioned that a friend had been talking 
to him about a visit to a dissecting room. I said to the patient, 
•Would you like to visit one?'. He replied, 'No, but if it was 
necessary I could do so '. I asked him why he would dislike it. He 
said it was because of the dead decomposing bodies, the messiness 
and smell. He then added voluntarily, ' I will be the same once , 
and immediately went on to talk of something else. I stopped him 
and drew his attention to the previous phrase ' I will be the same 
once ' He said, ' Of course I meant to say, I will be the same 
someday '. On asking him why he had made this grammatical error 
he said that it was due to his mixing up German and English. If 
the phrase had been spoken in German the word einmol (which 
means once) would have been used for someday. This explanation 
is obviously a rationalisation as English is his language which he 
speaks quite grammatically, and his German was only obtained 
through his living in Germany several years. 

This error in speech is interesting in that it definitely shows un- 
conscious anal birth ideas. His associations to dead bodies in the 
dissecting room led immediately to faeces, and previously the ana- 
lysis had brought to light many ideas in which faeces, children and 
birth were closely associated. ' I will be the same once ' is a con- 
densation of two ideas. I was a decomposing, messy, smelling body 
( = faeces) once (i.e. before birth), and I shall be a decomposing, 
messy, smelling body someday (i.e. after death). 





A. A. Brill. The Empathic Index and Personality. Medical Record, 
January 24, 1920. 

By the term ' empathic index ' the author understands the answer a 
person gives to his question: What personage from history or legend do 
you admire most, or whom would you consider your ideal? The answer, 
he says, definitely shows the trend of the person's adjustment to the 

The mechanism of the ' empathic index ' he bases on the process of 

The author's view that the transference mechanism is only a finer 
form of identification and depends altogether on it is not in accordance 
with the psycho-analytic theory of transference. 

The author's final remark that 'one can truly say, "Tell me your 
empathic index and I will tell you who you are"' is far too sweeping. 
This 'empathic index' can only give at the most a hint in a certain 
direction and no more. Dr. Brill apparently lays far too much stress on 
its value. j) g 

W. M. Wheeler. On Instincts. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 
1920-21, Vol. XV, p. 295. 

The author in this interesting and in parts humourously written 
article first of all gives a brief survey of the literature on Instincts from 
the theological, the mechanistic or physiological, and the psychological 
or anthropomorphic points of view. He then says that the methods of 
investigating instincts may be treated under three heads, the ex- 
perimental, the historical and the psychopathic. He goes on to show 
how the experimental method supplemented by the historical can be 
applied in the interpretation of behaviour in three typical insect instincts 
namely, the spraying instinct of the Formica rufer, the balloon-making 
instinct of the Empidid flies and the spinning instinct of the caterpillars 
of moths and butterflies. He considers that the third method, the 
psychopathic, is the one that promises important results. 



His remarks on psycho-analysis and psycho-analysts are worth 
quoting somewhat fully as coming from an entomologist. He says, ' Now 
I believe that the psycho-analysts are getting down to brass tacks. They 
have discovered that the psychologist's game which seems to consist in 
sitting down together or with the philosophers and seeing who can 
hallucinate fastest or most subtly and clothe the results in the best 
English, is not helping us very much in solving the terribly insistent 
problems of life. They have had the courage to dig up the subconsc.ous, 
that hotbed of all the egotism, greed, lust, pugnacity, cowardice, sloth, 
hate, and envy which every single one of us carries about as his 
inheritance from the animal world. These are all ethically and 
aesthetically very unpleasant phenomena but they are just as real and 
fundamental as our entrails, blood and reproductive organs. In this 
matter, I am glad to admit, the theologians, with their doctrine of total 
depravity, seem to me to be nearer the truth than the psychologists. I 
should say, however, that our depravity is only about 85 to 90%-' 

« To me one of the most striking indications that the psycho-analysts 
are on the right road is the fact that many of their theories have such a 
broad biological basis that they can be applied, exceptis excipiendts, to 
a group of animals so remote from man as the insects \ ' There are even 
cases of repression and sublimation as in the workers of social insects, 
and did time permit I could cite examples of multiple personality or of 
infantilisms, i.e. larval traits which survive or reappear in the adults 

of many species.' 

' The great fact remains that the work of the psychiatrists [psycho- 
analysts?] is beginning to have its effect even on such Rebound 
institutions as ethics, religion, education and jurisprudence, and that the 
knowledge that is being gained of the working of our subconscious must 
eventually profoundly affect animal no less than human psychology, since 
the subconscious is the animal mind.' 

Helene Deutsch. Zur Psychologie des MiBtrauens. (Contribution 
to the Psychology of Suspiciousness.) Imago, 1921, Vol. VII, p- 7*- 

Suspiciousness, so the author remarks, arises under the most varied 
circumstances in individuals and whole races. What unconscious motives 
has it and which repressing tendencies are responsible for it? Through 
the analysis of several cases these questions are answered in the sense 
that the feeling of constant apprehension which accompanies suspiciousness 
arises from a feeling of disturbed libido, a conflict, most often, between 
the wish for incest and its severe prohibition. The fact that suspiciousness 
is seen in deaf people so often is commented on. Obviously, Dr. Deutsch 



remarks, we need all our senses to watch over the hostile feelings of our 
fellow creatures. The difficulty in controlling the sadism of which we 
all have our share and our ambivalency is responsible for the feeling of 

Katherine Jones. 


Stanley Hall. A Synthetic Genetic Study of Fear. American 
Journal of Psychology, Vol. XXV, April and July 1914, pp. 149, 321. 

These two papers, 124' pages long, appear to be instalments of a 
monograph not yet concluded, although this is not explicitly stated. As, 
however, nothing further has been published since July 1914 a summary 
will be given of the two chapters in question, criticism of the whole 
being reserved for a future occasion. 

The subject is introduced with the following sentences: 'Fear is the 
anticipation of pain. For those forms of life capable of fear this 
anticipation is not prevision but only a highly generalised fore-feeling, 
itself unpleasant, that a yet more painful state impends. The will to live, 
the elan vital, is more or less checked in its momentum or narrowed in its 
range by some kind of intimation that it may be still further held up. 
This protensive or futuristic attitude or orientation toward a pejoristic 
state is the specific quale of the psychic condition called fear. Psycho- 
genetically it is a primitive Anlage of futurity and it is the most 
stimulating and vivid of all its forms of presentation. In fear the future 
dominates the present and gives it a new significance in addition to its 
own, and but for fear pain could do little of its prodigious educative 
work in the animal world. Fear is thus the chief paradigm of psychic 
prolepsis as well as the chief spur of psychic evolution. ... If fear had 
not been felt it could not be anticipated, hence the condition precedent 
of fear is some kind of registration and^some degree of revival of these 
vestiges. Thus fear involves the past as we have seen it does the 
future. ... If Bergson's duree reelle or pure duration or time freed 
from spatialization which the intellect tends to give it, has any existence, 
it is in the pure psychic state of fear. If pleasure-pain is the result 
of the first day's work of creative psychic evolution, fear is that of the 

second If there be a vital principle fear must be one of its very 

close allies as one of the chief springs of mind. Thus if any psychic 
component is not a mere epiphenomenon, but has an entity of its own, 

it is this. In fact fear is intensely dynamogenic and also inhibitive 

Without known danger life would be tame, insipid, asthenic' He regards 
hope rather than desire as the counterpart of fear: 'Whether we call 
fear an instinct, feeling, emotion, or sentiment, we must call hope the 
same, for each is the affective converse or complement of the other, 


without which it can neither be understood or explained, so that a 
broader knowledge of fear will have to wait upon future studies of 
hope, which is at the same time the light of life and also the terra 
incognita of psychology.' 

As in his other writings, Hall is here especially concerned with the 
genetic and biological aspects. He says, for instance, ' Fear can only be 
understood genetically. Its reinforcements and physiological expressions 
are full of atavistic rudiments, for we inherit not so much the effects of 
specific objects feared as the physical and psychic diathesis of fear '. He 
proceeds, in fact, by first making a long study of mental development 
in general, dealing especially with the question of the primary mental 
element. Rejecting the claims of sentiency. awareness, choice, and 
memory for honour, he decides in favour of aftectivity, stated in terms 
of the pleasure-pain principle. As to the question of the inheritance of 
fear he says: 'The anxiety diathesis is one of the most inheritable of 
traits, while fears of special objects are so only to a very slight degree.' 
No direct evidence is given in favour of this conclusion, however. He 
recurs to the theme of the influence of phylogenetic experiences in 
determining present fears and the forms of these; ' We fear with not only 
all that we, but with all that the race has feared '. 

Then follows an account of Adler's hypothesis of compensation of 
inferior organs, one which Hall holds to be ' the most important key ' for 
both abnormal and normal psychology. * Freud is wrong in interpreting 
this most generic form of fear (Minderwertigkeitsgefiihl) as rooted in 
sex, worries concerning which are only one of the more specific, if 
common and most typical, forms of its expression. Sex anxieties are 
themselves only symbols of this deeper sense of abatement of the will 
to live, to be powerful, to illustrate in our own personality the whole 
estate of man, to glow with the humanistic totalising motive to be 
citizens of all times and spectators of all events.' He nowhere shews 
any sign of having grasped the psycho-analytical theory of Angst, 
referring to it only as worries about sexual matters. For him, neurotic 
fear means the breaking down of the compensation of inferiority, the 
failure to 'realise the life-wish of self-maximization'. 'The summum 
genus of fear is a sense of the inability to cope with life, a dread of 
being vanquished and becoming not victors in its battle, a sense of 
limitation and of inferiority in our power to achieve the fullest success 
and happiness, a feeling that our hereditary momentum was originally 
insufficient or is in danger of being reduced. 

A list of 132 specific phobias is given, with their Greek names, from 
antlo- and apeiro-phobia to nelo- arid nephelo-phobia (fears of floods, 
infinity, glass, and clouds, respectively), and then ten important types 
of fears are selected for special, detailed consideration. A few words 
will be said about each of these. 



i. Fear of shock. By this Hall means essentially psychic trauma, 
though he takes the occasion to discuss the effects of physical shock on 
the nervous system (Crile's experiments, etc.) as well. There is a 
detailed description of the symptoms of shock, terror, being taken 
unawares, etc. Hall points out the ambivalence of fear and courage, 
dealing with this from a biological standpoint. Through fear man learns 
to avoid disaster, and through courting danger he acquires greater 
mastery over natural forces. ' As life has evolved on the psychic plane, 
the preservation of life against all great and sudden injuries is less by 
the vegetative power of recuperation and more in the cerebral function 
of pre-perceiving and so preventing shock. Instead of the power of 
regenerating mutilated tissue or even lost limbs and sense organs by the 
vis reparatrix of fe-growth, men, especially those well endowed with 
brain and mind, depend increasingly for survival upon their keenness 
of perception and their foreknowledge of coming harm, which enables 
them to escape it.' Speaking of the effects of intense emotion he says: 
' Reason always fears emotion and is shocked by its outbreaks, and well 
it may be, for they mark the incursions of the race into the narrow life 
of the individual. When they break out riotously in the individual or in 
the mob they may in a moment wreak a havoc that nothing can make 
good. Hence it is our own emotional possibilities rather than the moral 
law. as Kant thought, before which we stand in supremest awe. Their 
sublimation, directly or indirectly, is almost the whole work of culture. 
In this sense the fear of self is the beginning of wisdom. Every super- 
natural object or personality is the creation of these feelings. All of 
them we fear but only secondarily, for the fear in which they all root 
is that of self.' Incidentally we may note that Hall has an exaggerated as 
well as antiquated notion of the part played by psychic trauma in psycho- 
pathology. He views it only from the static side, in Morton Prince's 
way, and treats of its effects as one would of the effect of a blow on 
to a' non-reacting material. ' Freudians think shock is the only cause of 

hysteria [ !] Modern psychiatry is coming to assign to shock the 

chief role in nearly all psychoses and neuroses. On this view an intense, 
sudden, painful experience, especially if the significance of it can be 
dimly felt but not understood, may persist long and latently unassimilated 
by the central consciousness and without fusion with it, almost as if it 
were a foreign body in the psychic system. Such an experience may 
become the nucleus of a complex which without being recognised may 
grow into a dominant factor in the victim's life and become a parasitic 
or secondary personality. ... A child who sees a sex act; a girl whose 
trusted and respected lover suddenly makes indecent advances; even the 
sudden but belated knowledge of how babies come to exist, if it comes 
in a coarse way; — these illustrate Freudian shocks as they manifest 


themselves at once or long afterwards by obsessions, complexes, motor, 
digestive or other symptoms.' 

2. Pavor nocturnus. This leads to a discussion of sleep, Hall laying 
stress on the regressive nature of this (towards lower phylogenetic 
levels). He connects pavor itself with the night dangers to which our 
prehuman ancestors were exposed, and to their accompanying dreads. 
He regrets that physicians have made no psychological study of the 

3. Geotaxic Fears. Under this heading Hall includes, without clearly 
distinguishing between them, the fear of heights, astasia-abasia, interest 
in climbing, in rapid movement, and in being tossed up and down. He 
finds that fears connected with heights are remarkably common in 
children, that they mostly disappear later on, being rare after the age of 
thirty, and that they are three times as common in girls as in boys. He 
lays stress on the great positive pleasure most children experience in 
climbing, in being high up, and in being swung or tossed. Sensations 
of flying are discussed in the same connection. As phylogenetic sources 
he suggests the importance of the arboreal stage in prehuman existence 
for most of these phenomena, but reaches further back still to acquatic 
(fish) life for others. ' The facts seem to suggest that hovering is to be 
distinguished from falling sensations, which are later, the former being 
vestiges of acquatic, the latter of arboreal life. Of course the older of 
these experiences is to some extent reproduced in the foetal state with 
nearly equal fluid pressure on all sides, to which embryonal stage 
psycho-analysts (Ferenczi and others) have of late had recourse.' He 
has some illuminating comments on the inverse resemblance between 
astasia-abasia and the exact order in which a child learns to walk, 
describing this symptom as 'unlearning to stand and walk'. Further, 
' the locomotor efforts of patients with abasia-phobia, with their stooping 
and straddling, waving of arms, clutching of hands constant incipient 
falling and recovery, the anxious fore-looking for the next few steps, 
the selection of a goal and the staggering toward it, and especially the 
impulse to grasp everything supportive in their way, are highly 
suggestive of tree-life. The same is true of agoraphobia symptoms.' 

4. Fears of losing horizontal orientation. The necessity of orientation, 
the confusion between right and left, the obsession of knowing exacting 
the points of the compass, the fear of being lost, and even nostalgia, 
as well as other allied fears, are brought into relation with the primitive 
dread of being lost in forest life in prehuman times. 

5. Fears of closeness. The discussion ranges far beyond the fear of 
suffocation, etc., and many interesting facts are related, such as the case 
of a woman who can only wear a loose ring and gets into a panic if it 
sticks at all on being taken off; Sully Prudhomme found it oppressive to 
live on a confined sphere and wished the world were flat and continuous 



■with the stars and sky. Hall connects agoraphobia with the prehuman 
necessity to be near trees for safety, and claustrophobia with the dangers 
of cave life in subsequent epochs. He considers that many sublimated 
interests, e.g. passion for liberty and hatred of constricting tyranny, 
arise from this group of fears, and says of vertigo, for instance, ' it is 
the genetic basis of man's impulsion to find his own place in the universe, 
to know himself and his world, to evolve a system of theory as well as 
of conduct and behaviour that fits him to fill his place in nature.' 

6. Fears of sticks, missiles, points, edges, string. These are all 
connected with the vast importance such matters played in the earliest 
development of mankind, in relation to aggression and to danger. The 
following general remark is of interest: 'If phobias are thus survivals 
and revivals of traces in us of the salient points of long ancestral 
experience, we cannot understand the one without the other, and may 
sometimes reason both ways. We may infer from strong and in the 
individual inadequately motivated impulses something as to what ex- 
perience the race must have passed through. Conversely, when the latter 
is known, we may confidently expect if not predict outcrops of similar 
phenomena in childhood and in neurotics.' No sexual association of any 
of these phenomena is mentioned except in the case of piercing with a 
point, and then to be dismissed with the words ' The fact that very many 
children long before puberty [!] have fear of points, and the fact that 
the chief pain done to man and his history was by non-sexual piercings, 
shew the limitation of this interpretation'. 

7. Fear of snakes. This fear is much commoner with girls. It is 
related, as well as the numerous myths of overcoming serpents and 
dragons, to the great dangers from snakes experienced by prehuman, 
and especially arboreal, man. Sexuality is not even mentioned in this 


8. Fear of cats. The prominent elements in this are the animals 
stealthiness, its power of taking great leaps, its nocturnal habits, and the 
fear of claws and teeth. Many interesting examples are narrated. Hall 
does not think that the phobia can be accounted for by painful personal 
experiences, and draws for an explanation on the fact that the feline 
race was man's most potent enemy in primitive times. ' The ailurophobe 
is contending with inherited more than with acquired dread, for he is 
to some extent reviving the old fear of big cats which he wrongly 
interprets, from lack of psycho-analysis of himself, as fear of house- 
cats These latter are the manifest as opposed to the latent objects of 
his fears." It is hard to see how psycho-analysis could reveal this, if it 
were true; besides, the theory does not account for the much commoner 
occurrence of ailurophilia. 

q. Ereuthophobia and its kin. Most of the more severe cases of this 
are found in men. A long discussion of flushing and blushing is given, 


especially in relation to man's sensitiveness to the opinion of his fellows. 
The emotions underlying blushes are always connected with fear. This is 
the only fear in which Hall finds it necessary to discuss a possible 
sexual origin, and the superficial arguments with which he dismisses this 
are characteristic of his whole attitude. ' Some think that the blush was 
once extended over the whole surface of the body and is a relic of 
general sex erethism that has drifted away from its origin, but why, 
then is blushing unpleasant to so many?' The two other arguments 
are that ' each sex may blush before members of its own sex ', and that 
' sex theorists disagree as to whether sex-Hushing means desire or 
dread'. It is remarkable that anyone who has read some psycho- 
analytical literature cannot find the obvious answer to such questions. 
Hall's own view is as follows: ' Man's dearest wish is esteem, fame, and 
to maximize himself generally in his human milieu, and his greatest 
dread is disgrace, social outlawry, and general hate. Flushing is a 
factor of two variables, first, the degree of keenness of consciousness of 
things to be concealed, and second, a sense that they have been 

10. Pathophobias. Hall begins with the alimentary pathophobias, to 
which most of the section is devoted. Raising the question of how it 
is that neuropathic disorders can so closely resemble organic ones, e. g. 
pyloric stenosis, he says that this is because of past ancestral ex- 
periences of such disorders. He discusses the danger of the interference 
of consciousness in the action of automatic and instinctive bodily pro- 
cesses. ' Necessary and effective as psycho-analysis shews this 
process of consciencization often to be for re-education, it suggests 
again the momentous conclusion that consciousness itself is essentially 
a therapeutic and remedial agency with potencies hitherto undreamed 
of in this direction because wrongly conceived of. But we must not 
forget that consciousness always brings dangers also hitherto unknown 
in its train, for it has strange powers to inhibit and to hypertrophy 
almost every organic, motor, and sensory activity. Hence it is that there 
is always a resistance born of fear in going below the threshold to 
explore the unconscious, and this resistance has many manifestations 
all the way from the instinct that prompts patients to be reserved to 
physicians up to the refusal of many psychologists to admit even the 
reality of unconscious psychic processes.' Hall overlooks here the 
difference between self-conscious and pre-conscious activities, the latter 
being the stage at which psycho-analysis leaves most bodily functions 
— from breathing to walking — that may have been the object of con- 
scious attention during the clinical analysis. 

Taken all in all, the three most prominent features about Hall's 
detailed work are (i) his emphasis on the phylogenetic aspects of 


clinical phobias, and the relation of these to specific predispositions, 

(2) the vast amount of material, chiefly in children, at his disposal, 

(3) his opposition to admitting that sexuality may play a part in the 
genesis of any single phobia, or of fear in general. 

E. J. 

W. R. Bousfield and P. Bousfield. Determinism in Relation to 
Psycho-Analysis. Psyche, 1921, Vol. II, p. no. 

The object of this paper is to express the authors' dislike for what 
they imagine to be certain materialistic implications in psycho-analysis. 
Starting from the extraordinarily wild premise that ' The notion that the 
world and its inhabitants have been evolved from such a nebula without 
any intelligent moulding agency has become scientifically unthinkable', 
they oppose the notion of an ethereal or spiritual body which may 
interpenetrate the material body and survive to the conclusions of the 
Freudian school, which is supposed to 'base its theory on a purely 
materialistic view of human nature'; we learn, further, that this school 
' has disposed of spirit and find mind a mere function of matter '. We 
are not aware of any psycho-analyst who has committed himself to any 
such philosophy. 

Their criticism of ' How Freud deals parenthetically, in off-hand way, 
with the subject of telepathy' (p. 117) is based on a passage in an 
American translation of one of his books which is a pure interpolation on 
the part of the translator and does not occur in Freud's own writings. 

But the real gravemen of their charge against psycho-analysts, to 
which most of the article is devoted, is the belief of the latter in 
psychical determinism. To this they trace any sorts of immoral con- 
sequences in practical treatment. Apparently it has not occurred to the 
authors that determinism is no special invention or property of psycho- 
analysts, but is common to all scientific men; science is possible only in 
so far as what roughly may be called the uniformity of cause and effect 
is assumed and becomes impossible where this ceases. 

They imply that the technique of treatment would be widely different 
if one granted that the patient had a free will, i. e. one uninfluenced by 
any causative forces. But it seems to us that one would be in very 
much the same position in so far as one could operate, as now, only on 
the mental agencies that can be influenced, i. e. are not ' free'. Obviously if 
one succeeded in making an appeal to a patient's 'power of choice 
between good and evil', as the authors imply, this power of choice 
would be one that could be influenced, i. e. would not be ' free will '. 

E. J. 


Stanley Hall. The Freudian Methods applied to Anger. American 
Journal of Psychology, July 1915, p. 438. 

This paper was read in May at a meeting of the American Psycho- 
pathological Association. The point of it is that the Freudian mechanisms 
also apply to other matters than those of sex, e.g. anger. Hall says 
he has vainly tried to interest normal psychologists in psycho-analysis, 
and he seems to sympathise with the reffSon they give, viz. that ' these 
patients and their doctors alike are sex-intoxicated, and that the Freudian 
psychology applies only to perverts and erotomaniacs or other abnormal 
cases. To ascribe all this aversion on their part to social and ethical 
repression is shallow, for the real causes are both manifold and deeper. 
They are part of a complicated protest of normality, found in all and 
even in the resistances of subjects of analysis, which is really a factor 
basal for self-control, of the varying good sides of which Freudians tell 
us nothing. The fact is that there are other things in the human 
psyche than sex and its ramifications. Hunger, despite Jung, fear, 
despite Sadger, and anger, despite Freud, are just as primary, aboriginal 
and independent as sex, and we fly in the face of fact and psychic ex- 
perience to derive them all from sex '. 

The analogies he sees in the case of anger are as follows: (1) Anger 
is the most dynamogenic of all the emotions. Further, ' few if any 
impulsions of man, certainly not sex, have suffered more intense, 
prolonged or manifold repression'. (2) Anger has many forms of Ver- 
schiebung. (3) It has countless forms of sublimation. (4) It has its 
dreams and reveries. ' So weird and dramatic are these scenes often 
that to some minds we must call anger and hate the chief springs of the 
imagination '. 

In the middle of the paper is an apparently irrelevant passage in 
which it is stated that 'the Ichtrieb is basal, and the fondest and most 
comprehensive of all motives is that to excel others, not merely to 
survive, but to win a larger place in the sun'. Perhaps to be correlated 
with this is the introductory sentence in which Hall protests against 
Freud's 'most impolitic and almost vituperative condemnation' of 
Adler. E. J. 

Sylvia Bliss. The Origin of Laughter. American Journal of 
Psychology, April 1915, p. 236. 

In a footnote to this article the authoress writes: 'The writer has 
learned that the argument in this article is similar in some respects to 
that used by Freud in his treatise on wit. Her investigation was 
independent of that of the latter'. It is hardly likely, however, that it 


was quite uninfluenced, even indirectly, by the wide-spread knowledge 
of Freud's theory of repression. 

In a word, the authoress' theory is that laughter is an expression of 
the pleasurable release of repressed, unconscious emotions. Her argument 
is as follows: 'In the evolution of humanity those instincts that are 
inimical to the progress of civilisation are theoretically transformed into 
qualities and acts less at variance with social and ethical laws, but in 
reality the substitution is far from perfect and entire. Man is not yet 
completely evolved; he is but partly adjusted to a civilised environment, 
and a portion of his nature lags far behind at a primitive, savage level. 
The human being, from childhood up, must curb, repress, skulk, hide, 
control. From the mother's " no, no » to the thundering " Thou shalt not » 
from Mount Sinai there is a constant denial of instinct. So accustomed 
are we to regard this as pure benefit that we are blind to the accompany- 
ing disservice. Nature confined is not entirely quiescent. With all the 
outlets, transformations and substitutions which physical and mental 
activities afford there still remains a large residue of repressed pr.mal 
instinct which results in discordant and tense conditions in the sub- 
conscious life.' 'Laughter is the result of suddenly released repression, 
the physical sign of subconscious satisfaction. Our primitive man saw, 
it may be, another do the thing reprobated by the tribe and his own 
nascent conscience. The sight relieved the tension occasioned by his 
own repressed wish to do the self-same thing-and he laughed; the 
laughter sprang from unconscious sympathy with the reactionary act . 
- The secret of laughter is in a return to nature. Civilisation and culture 
are late additions and we are living to a great extent in artificial con- 
ditions. Even common sense is an effort. Psychology makes plain the 
fact that our present mental equipment has been slowly and painfully 
acquired, and a certain strain in maintaining that high altitude is 
inevitable. This tension is relieved by nonsense and by the portrayal 
in humorous anecdotes and on the stage of evasions of convention and 
infractions of the prevailing code of manners and of morals The 
smile of the subject entering the hypnotic state is explained by reference 
to Jastrow's description of the hypnotic consciousness as a release from 
the restraining influences of fear, hesitation, and the ideals of reason 
and propriety.' The theory is illustrated by a number of examples, and 
the article concludes with the words: 'Perceiving the function of 
laughter-provoking agencies we shall be slow to condemn even the 
broadest and coarsest humour, for this, furnishing an indirect outlet 
for suppressed instincts, may be more beneficial than we know'. 

E. J. 


W. H. R. Rivers. The Instinct of Acquisition. Psyche, 1921, 
Vol. II, p. 100. 

Rivers discusses here the question whether the concept of property 
has an instinctive basis. He does not think that it is necessary to 
postulate a distinct instinct for the impulse to acquire, and so confines 
himself to that of retaining wealth. Consideration of animal life and 
of his studies in Melanesia lead him to the conclusion that the instinct 
of acquisition is a primary and individual one, though it has been 
modified in various ways by social tradition; whether these modifications 
also constitute an instinct cannot as yet be decided. The most striking 
feature of the paper is the total absence of any reference to all the work 
that has been done in the past fifteen years on the psychogenesis of the 
two impulses in question ; the word ' anal-erotism ' is nowhere mentioned. 

E. J. 

Theodore Schroeder. The Psychologic Aspect of Free-Association. 
The American Journal of Psychology, 1919, Vol. XXX, p. 260. 

This is a defence of Freud's theory of free association. The article 
is mainly polemic, but presents also some valuable personal material of 
an analytical kind. E. J. 


A. A. Roback. The Freudian Doctrine of Lapses and its Failings. 
The American Journal of Psychology, 1919, Vol. XXX, p. 274. 

A long polemic against Freud's theory of lapses in every-day life. 
The author criticises a number of examples published in the psycho- 
analytical literature and attempts to show that they can be explained 
otherwise on purely phonetic grounds, as was done in the days before 
Freud's work. He says that in the psycho-analysis of such lapses 
'emphasis is laid on irrelevant details, while essential facts are ignored'. 
This is reversing the situation with a vengeance. I take this opportunity 
of putting an end to a controversy which seems to have been raging among 
American writers about two supposed lapses of my own: Mr. Roback's 
explanation about the word ' calligraphy ' is correct, while that about 
the word 'broschure' is wrong. E. J. 


K. Abraham. Zur Prognose psychoanalytischer Behandlungen in 
vorgeschrittenem Lebensalter. Internationale Zeitsckrift fiir Psycho- 
analyse, 1920. Band VI, S. 113. 

Abraham here relates his experience of analysis in elderly patients. 
Although the prognosis in general is much less favourable after the age 


of fifty he finds that some cases react excellently and discusses the 
meaning of the fact. It turned out that the favourable cases were those 
in which the neurosis had become manifest in adult years after a normal 
life had been lived for some time, whereas the results were poor with 
those patients who had suffered from childhood on. His conclusions 
may be summed up in his apophthegm that from the point of view of 
prognosis the age of the neurosis is more important than the age of the 
neurotic. **. J. 


Adolph Stern. The Etiology of Neurotic Symptoms in a Child of 
Eight. New York Medical Journal, May, 22, 1920. 

Some very interesting deductions can be drawn from the analysis of 
this little patient. Among them were the demonstration of the existence 
in a child of eight of unconscious and precouscious mental processes, 
which in the adult are usually unconscious. Also like in the findings in 
the adult neurotic, so in the case of our little patient, those processes 
were motivating forces of neurotic symptoms, and also factors in the 
production of character traits. The roots of the neurosis were traceable 
to the parent complex in its various manifestations. The ambivalent 
emotions of love and hate, of sadism and masochism, are very evident, 
especially in reference to the parents, though they are not absent in 
reference to others in the immediate environment. The infantile sexual 
curiosity, so regularly found repressed in the adult, is nicely demonstrated 
in this patient, also for the most part repressed and the source of con- 
flict and symptom formation. > • 

That which in the adult manifests itself as a sense of inferiority can 
be traced in this patient to two sources, both leading to the narcissistic 
component. One is that which to the patient indicates that there has 
been a loss of love for him on the part of the parents, following the birth 
of a baby brother; and also as belonging to this category, the oft repeated 
remark of the father that the patient's younger brother is braver and 
stronger than the patient. The other root of the inferiority feeling arises 
from the comparison by the patient of the size of his own (small) genitals 
with that of his father; entering into this category is the frequently 
repeated threat of the father to cut off the patent's penis if he continued 

to play with it. 

From a technical point of view it is of interest that a transference 
was very readily established and maintained. A positive transference 
was present from the start, followed by a well defined negative one, not 
excessive in character. This is to some extent different from my usual 
experience with children, in whom the establishing of a transference 
takes much time. The nature of the transference in no way differed 
from that in an adult neurotic. 


The question of heredity is referred to, because of the neurotic make- 
up of the patient's father, and the fact that the later suffered from tabes 
dorsalis. The author thinks that some of the factors commonly referred 
to as hereditary may well be environmental in character, in that they 
influence the child at a very young age, in fact in very early infancy, 
at a time when children are supposedly not susceptible to neurotic 
manifestations on the part of the adult. The author believes that in 
this field lies some hope for prophylaxis in mental disease. Another 
avenue of approach to prophylaxis in the mental field, lies perhaps in 
giving accurate and correct instruction to children in fundamental 
things, like sex, at the time they ask questions, and making the in- 
formation fit the ability of the child to understand what is told him. 
What is told him, should be true. *. 

Author's Abstract. 

Millais Culpin. The Present Position of Psychotherapy. Lancet, 
September 24th, 192 1. 

Dr. Culpin's article does not justify its title. We should have ex- 
pected to find some definite pronouncement on the present position of 
psychotherapy from a lecturer on psychoneuroses, but the only information 
in this respect may be summed up in words used by the writer, ' Taking 
a general view of recent development we find a great increase of interest 
in the mental processes underlying certain disorders'. It seems a rather 
unnecessary expenditure of energy to write an article of five columns 
to tell the readers of the Lancet this obvious fact. However, apart 
from this general defect in the article there are one or two points worth 
noting in it. 

The author tells us that practically all the physical disabilities seen 
in cases of shell-shock had been described by Hector Gavin in his book 
' Feigned and fictitious Diseases in Soldiers and Sailors ' which appeared 
in 1843. This is interesting information for those medical men who like 
to look upon shell-shock as a new and never-before-known syndrome. 
Psycho-analysts have never been blind to the fact that practically all 
the symptoms seen in the war neuroses were manifest in neurotics in civil 
life long before the war, and they have constantly stated and demonstrated 
this fact. 

Further he points out that H. W. Page and the late Furneaux 
Jordan in 1891 definitely established the emotional origin of ' railway 
spine' which was then looked upon as due to gross organic changes, 
just as at the present time certain observers would like to regard all 
cases of shell-shock. The emotional factor in shell-shock psycho-analysts 
have always maintained and emphasised as a fundamental cause of the 



The general trend of the article points to the fact that the author 
considers the war neuroses are to be explained essentially on the basis 
of the psycho-analytical theory, and their treatment has to be carried 
out along this line. His ' brief summary ' of the ' theory of the 
unconscious ' leaves much to be desired, yet the advocacy of the psycho- 
analytical principles in one of the leading medical journals, however 
tentative it may be, is, we feel, a step in the right direction. 

It might be pointed out to the author that a cure by psycho-analysis 
is not ' sought by reviving memories excluded from consciousness and 
by teaching the patient to face his troubles ', but by breaking down the 
resistances that prevent unconscious ideas, etc. from directly reaching 
consciousness, and thus enabling the patient to solve his conflicts and so 
bring about a cure. D. B. 


W. McDougall. Four Cases of 'Regression' in Soldiers. Journal 
of Abnormal Psychology, 1920, Vol. XV, p. 136. 

The writer points out that he is using the word ' regression ' in a 
purely descriptive sense and does not mean to imply any theory of the 
process or condition. He details the histories and symptoms of four 
soldiers, who having suffered some trauma in the war had 'regressed' 
to an infantile stage of development. He suggests that this ' regression' 
is to be regarded as a biological rather than a specifically psychological 
process, and may be looked upon as the ultimate or extreme con- 
sequence of the instinctive shrinking of fear. He goes on to say, ' Fear 
is the great inhibitor, which determines shrinking, both bodily and 
mental, from all fear-exciting things and ultimately perhaps from all 
things. If the fear be sufficiently intense and sustained or renewed, 
we may imagine this inhibitory shrinking effect carried so far as to 
paralyse all the higher functions; and we may suppose that the vital 
or nervous energy, being withdrawn from those levels of the nervous 
system concerned in these higher functions, then revitalises older, more 
primitive, infantile levels of function, finding its outlet through nervous 
channels organized and active in infancy, but long disused.' It seems 
from this the author would have been more correct to have regarded 
the 'regression' as a purely physiological process, for he evidently 
wishes to conceive the word 'shrinking' in its sense of actual loss or 
getting materially less, than in its more figurative sense of withdrawal, 
in which sense it has been and is always used when applied to fear. If 
this concept of ' regression ' in these cases were the correct one, it does 
not seem that the author need have any feeling of shame (page 156) 
in not restoring the patients to the normal condition by any form of 
treatment; for it is difficult to see how any form of treatment could be 
satisfactorily applied under such conditions. 



It would be of interest to the Freudians if the author (page 136) 
had given a specific instance where they say they use the words 'sex' 
and 'sexual' in a different sense from that which centuries of usage has 
attached to them. If the author is unable to do this then such a statement 
is the last thing one would have expected from a man of his standing and 
attainments. As a matter of fact the Freudians have always used the 
words 'sex' and 'sexual' in the sense that centuries of usage has 
attached to them, but on the other hand they have also enlarged the 
concept, and include the lesser in the greater. P- B. 

K. M. Bowman. Analysis of a. Case of War Neurosis. Psycho- 
analytic Review, 1920, Vol. VII, p. 317. 

This is a detailed report of an analytic study of a case seen at 
Maghull, England, in 1918, which he cured by psychotherapy. The 
author insists on the connection between the present condition of such 
patients and the experiences of their early life which went to determine 
their character. Those working at such subjects should certainly read 
the article in the original. E - J' 


Mary K. Isham. A Case of Mixed Neurosis with some Paraphrenic 
Features. Medical Record, June 12, 1920. 

The paper contains some abstracts from the analysis of the case of 
a Russian Jew, 30, violinist and composer, who lived apart from his 
wife because he was afraid he might injure his only child, a baby boy 
aged fifteen months. He could not bear to hear it cry, yet he was 
worried when it was quiet and he would pinch and poke it to see if it 

would cry. 

He used to meet his wife periodically and, although she was usually 
fairly punctual, he was constantly asking during the analysis 'Why 
does my wife come late? ' The solution of this problem lay in the sexual 
meaning of the word 'come', for the patient was the subject of 
cjaculatio praecox and adjustment of the sexual life relieved him of his 
worry about his wife's punctuality. 

He feared that masturbation in early life had rendered him impotent 
and it was because his son symbolized his own (castrated) phallus that he 
stimulated him to cry, thus satisfying himself that the child was not 
deficient, otherwise that he himself was not impotent. 

W. H. B. Stoddart. 



Laignel-Lavastine et Vinchou. A propos d'une Observation de 
Psychanalyse. Gazette des hopitaux civUs et milit aires, 1920, No 7-1 
p. 1256. 

Ces auteurs nous racontent l'histoire d'un vieille fille devenue tiqueuse 
a la suite d'une deception sentimentale. Quoique la malade nie tout 
rapport de cause a effet entre ces deux faits, l'analyse de ses reves 
semble cependant montrer que ce rapport existe. Apres avoir rapporte 
ces faits ils donnent quelques appreciations sur la psa., que nous croyons 
utile de citer ici: 

' L'ecole de Freud nous reprocherait certainement de nous gtre con- 
tentes de la seule observation, d'avoir reduit au minimum nos inter- 
pretations personnelles et de n'avoir paspousse plus loin la recherche 
de l'histoire des tics et de leur origine. C'est qu'en France, avertis par 
l'aventure de l'hysterie, nous avons appris a nous mefier de l'intervention 
trop intime du medecin, surtout dans cette categorie de troubles mentaux. 
Certaines malades nous ont aussi r£clam6 d'elles-meme l'epreuve de la psa., 
racontant sans aucune pudeur des reves erotiques, ou le medecin jouait 
une large part . . . Pourtant tel qu'il est, cet essai de psa. est interessant 
et montre bien toute l'importance de l'ecole de Freud. D'autres observa- 
tions sont peut-etre moins riches en symboles, mais aboutissent au meme 
point, c'est-a-dire a prouver le role considerable de l'instinct sexuel dans 
devolution des psychoses. Mais est-ce vraiment la cause determinante 
de celle-ci?' 

Ici Laignel-Lavastine arrive aux conclusions opposees de Flournoy. 
Pour lui le role preponderant dans l'etiologie des maladies mentales se 
reduit a une predisposition constitutionelle. 



C. P. Oberndorf. Traumatic Hysteria. New York Medical Journal, 
November io, 191 7. 

The points in this article are summed up in the author's recapitulation. 

1. Traumatic neurosis is not primarily dependent upon litigation. 

2. All hysterias are dependent to a great extent upon traumata, 
psychical rather than physical. The mental mechanism in litigious 
cases probably parallels the non-litigious ones. 

3. The constitutional make-up of the patient, more specifically his 
unconscious mental equipment, is the most important factor determining 
the development of hysteria. 

4. All hysterics are unconsciously attempting to achieve something 
through their illness and until that aim is brought clearly into con- 
sciousness or some substitute for it is provided them there is little 
hope for permanent cure. D_ B. 


Cornelius. Psychologie et Therapeutique des Obsessions. Journal 
des Praticiens, 13. novembre 1920. 

Nous ne faisons que citer en passant cet article du Dr. Cornelius 
dans lequel il indique ses preferences pour les theories de Jung, et sa 
crainte des theories de Freud d'une faqon tres breve. Nous aurons 
l'occasion de revenir aux idees de cet auteur a propos d'un de ses articles 
qui est on cours de publication dans les Archives Internationales de 
Neurologie. R. de Saussure. 


W. Stekel. A severe Case of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Psyche and 
Eros, 1920, Vol. I, No. 3, p. 172. 

A short report of a severe case of vomiting during pregnancy. After 
some interrogation the patient was cured by means of hypnotism. Stekel 
insists that many such cases are of a psychogenic nature. 

E. J. 


M. Prince. Miss Beauchamp. The Theory of the Psychogenesis 
of Multiple Personality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1920, Vol. 

XV, p. 67. 

The author has written a further article on the Beauchamp case of 
which he had previously published a study in 1908. His theory of the 
psychogenesis of multiple personality as evidenced by the case of Miss 
Beauchamp does not add much to what has already been published on 
the academic investigation of these cases. A kind of psychological 
analysis was carried out on the subject but no psycho-analysis, therefore 
the findings are of no material interest to psycho-analysts. 

D. B. 

William Boven. Etudes sur les conditions du developpement au sein 
des Families, de la schizophrenic et de la folie maniaque. Archives 
suissc s de Neurologie et de Psychiatric, Tome VIII, fasc. I 192I1 

p. 89-116. 

Tandisque la plupart des auteurs qui se sont occupes d'heredite de 
maladies mentales ne se sont attaches qu'a decrire les cas pathologiques 
des families d'alienes, le Dr. Boven a eu le grand merite d'aller dans 
les demeures des alienes, pour ehidier le caractere des parents de chaque 
malade. Son enqugte porte done sur les tendances psychologiques 
heritees, aussi bien que sur les cas morbides d'une famille. 

R. r>E Saussuke. 

DREAMS , r j 

Mary K. Isham. The Paraphrenic's Inaccessibility. Psychoanalytic 
Review, 1920, Vol. VII, p. 246. 

The author gives short reports of several cases of paraphrenia in 
illustration of the inaccessibility so characteristic of the condition. 

E. J. 


L. Dooley. A Psychoanalytic Study of Manic Depressive Psychoses. 
Psychoanalytic Review, 1921, Vol. VIII, pp. 38 and 114. 

A detailed study of five severe cases of manic-depressive insanity. 
The therapeutic results were neither encouraging nor discouraging. In 
no case did the analysis proceed to the depths. The author proffers 
much material concerning unconscious mechanisms and conflicts, but her 
conclusions are of a very general order. Nothing distinctive of this 
psychosis is isolated. Apparently at the time of writing the author had 
not seen Freud's work on melancholia. 



Oskar Pfister. Experimental Dreams Concerning Theoretical 
Subjects. Psyche and Eros, 1921, Vol. II, Nos. 1 and 2, pp. 1 and 90. 

Pfister here extends Schrotter's work on the experimental production 
of dreams, supplementing it with an analysis of the dreams so pro- 
duced. E. J. 


E. R. Thompson. An Inquiry into some Questions connected with 
Imagery in Dreams. British Journal of Psychology, October 1914, 
p- 300. 

This is a study of some specific dream problems suggested by 
Freud's Traumdeutung. 190 dreams of five subjects were available. 
The problems were as follows: (1) Does compensation of imagery 
occur in dreams, or is the imagery characteristic of the individual's 
waking life the most prominent in his dreams? No evidence for com- 
pensation was found. Thompson further makes the statement that there 
is a correlation between waking and dream imagery in a given person; 
this is contradictory to the results obtained by other workers, Calkins, 
Hacker, Weed, etc., who find that visual imagery is the most prominent 
in dreams in all cases. (2) Is there a relation between the type of 
imagery and the rate at which a dream becomes forgotten? Thompson 
finds that the type of imagery most characteristic of waking life has 



the strongest perseverative tendency when it occurs in dreams. (There 
is a flaw in the argument here, for the author in this experiment 
employed only subjects of the visual type, without therefore controls. 
Reviewer.) (3) The central motif in a dream was found to be presented 
in the form of imagery mos't characteristic of both waking and dream life. 
Psycho-analysis is said to have been employed to determine which was 
the central motif. (4) Sensory stimuli during sleep never cause the 
dream, but may be woven into its structure in exactly the way described 
by Freud, being distorted for the purpose of the dream tendency. 
(5) Condensations occur more frequently in visual than in auditory 
imagery, and in the latter case more frequently with words than with 
sounds. (6) Critical thought and reasoning occur in dreams sometimes, 
and then shew all the clearness and logical consistency of waking thought. 
Thompson gives nine examples of this, but judges exclusively from the 
manifest content, so that his conclusion is of no interest. 

E. J. 


J. P. Lowson. The Interpretation of Dreams. Psyche, 192 1, Vol. II, 

p. 4. 

A short and elementary description of Freud's theory with some 

illustrative examples. ' J' 


Auguste Lemaitre. Le Symbolisme dans les Reves des Adolescents, 
suivi de Remarques sur l'Inversion Precoce. Ed. du Forum, Paris, 

40 pages. 

L'auteur, qui est professeur au college de Geneve, et connu par son 
livre sur la psychologie de l'adolescent, nous donne quelques r§ves de 
garcons, dont le symbolisme est generalement assez transparent, mais 
dont l'analyse est manifestement insuffisante. II en resulte que les con- 
clusions que l'auteur veut tirer de ces rfives sont tres sujettes a caution. 
Dans, la seconde partie du livre l'auteur nous donne beaucoup de con- 
fessions d'homosexuels et ce document ne manque pas d'interet. 

R. de Saussure. 


Bellamy. The Analysis of a Nightmare. Journal of Abnormal 
Psychology, April 1915, Vol. X, p. II. 

A very poor study of a complicated anxiety dream. As it was the 
author's own dream, foolishly published, it would be unkind to enlighten 
him and the world about the partial interpretation that is possible from 
reading it. E ' I' 




J. Marcinowski. A detailed Dream Analysis. Psyche and Eros, 

1920, Vol. I, p. 140. 

An analysis shewing how extraordinarily complicated the determinants 
of a single dream may be. An interesting diagram is appended in which 
all the associations are represented with their various connections. 

E. J. 

Sexual Life 

K. Abraham. Zur narzisstischen Bewertung der Exkretionsvorgange 
in Traum und Neurose. Internationale Zeitschrift fiir Psycho- 
analyse, 1920, Band VI, S. 64. 

The primitive over-estimation of the excretory products typical of 
the unconscious (and child's) mind extends also to the excretory acts 
themselves. Some dreams are here related illustrating the significance 
attached to such acts, particularly in relation to the impulse of creation 

F T 
and destruction. • J ' 


Honorio F. Delgado. Der Liebeszauber der Augen. Imago, 192 1, 

Band VII, p. 127- , _ _ '. , 

In a short article entitled 'The love charm of the eye', Dr. Delgado 
of Lima discusses, in a rather superficial way, the reason why the eye 
is for most men the most attractive part of a woman's face. He comes 
to the conclusion that it is the mother's eye, the image of which is 
revived in every other woman's eye. The reason why the mother s eye 
is attractive to the child is that it is the most outstanding feature of her 
face and conveys much expression. One cannot help thinking of Rank's 
short papers on the same matter which appeared some years ago m the 
same paper and show so much more insight into the psychological 
process. Katherine Jones. 


Havelock Ellis. The Doctrine of Erogenous Zones. Medical Review 

of Reviews, April 19 20 . P- I 7 I - 

In this article the author traces the origin of the term ' Erogenous 
Zones '. He states that this phenomenon has been known in the general 
sense and without reference to sexual feelings from the earliest days 
when exact medical observation began to be made. It was termed 
' sympathy '. Charcot recognised these ' erogenous zones ' but called 
them hysterogenous zones, and did not bring them into relation with 
sexual phenomena. 



Ernest Chambard in 1881 seems to have been the first to bring 
erogenous zones, or as he termed them centres-erogenes, into relation 
with sexual phenomena. Fere in 1883 pointed out the analogy of 
erogenous zones to hysterogenous zones, and also stated that the former 
could occur in the normal state. He evidently based his ideas on 
Chambard's centres-erogenes but altered the term to zones erogenes. 

The first reference to zones erogenes in English was in the trans- 
Jation of Binet's and Fere's 'Animal Magnetism' in 1887 and appeared 
as erogenic zones. It then appeared in the Oxford Dictionary in 189 1 
with the meaning 'that gives rise to sexual desire'. It added that the 
word is from the French erogenique, which is a misstatement— the word 
used in French being always erogene. 

The author considers that he was the next person to use it in English 
in the third volume of his Studies 1903, and he adopted the term 

erogenous zones. 1 

Bloch supplied the next comprehensive account of the matter in his 
' Beitrage zur Aetiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis ', Part II, p. i9 2 - 
and extended the term of erogenous zones to all the senses. 

Freud in his ' Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie ', 1905 was the 
first to adopt and make wide use of the doctrine of erogenous zones, and 
it is to him, says the author, that we must largely attribute the general 
current acceptance of the idea of the name of erogenous zones. 

D. B. 

Ph. Chasselin et P. Chatelin. Delire erotique avec Perversion 
sexuelle. Annales Medico-Psychologiques, Fevrier 1921, p. l&- 

Les auteurs racontent le cas d'une jeune fille de 30 ans Uprise d'une 
de ses amies qui avait 10 ans de plus qu'elle. lis publient des lettres 
de cette malade qui montrent nettement qu'il s'agit ici d'un r«l amour 
homosexuel, bien que ces deux femmes n'eurent jamais de relations de 
ce genre entre elles. Malheureusement les auteurs n'ont pas essaye de 
faire la psychogenese de cette affection. . R. de Saussure. 

D. H. Bonus. Over-Valuation of the Sexual as a Determinant in 
the Etiology of the Psychoneuroses. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 
1920, Vol. XV, p. 259. 

This article is the report of a case in which the sexual played a pre- 
dominant part. Although the author talks about the analysis of the 
ca se, it must not be inferred he means a psycho-analysis. All he 


apparently did was to carry out a short psychological analysis which 
appears to have been sufficient to remove the patient's symptoms. His 
interpretation of certain dreams leaves much to be desired. D. B. 

W. Stekel. A Contribution to the Psychology of Exhibitionism. 
Psyche and Eros, 1920, Vol. I, p. 1. 

Stekel here gives illustrative cases in support of his well-known 
view that the perversion of exhibitionism is connected with narcissism 
and infantilism. E. J. 


Capgras. Autobiographic d'un Pervers Erotique. L'Encephale,- 

1921, No. 7, p. 367- 

The author records the case of a man with a life-long conscious 
incestuous fixation, so strong that onanism was invariably associated 
with phantasies about his sister and undisguised sexual dreams were 
always about her. In letters to her he gloated over the time when they 
slept in the same room (1861-74) and admired her charms. He con- 
fessed to her that in 1878 (when he was 24) he pierced a hole in the 
partition between their rooms in order to adore her naked body. 

A year later he became alarmed at this passion for his sister and 
fled, taking a situation distant from Paris, where they had hitherto 
lived, and he did not see her again until he was 49- During these 
24 years he resisted his incestual desires, realizing them in imagination 
only and abandoning himself to sensual reveries in which his sister 
was the sole object. On rare occasions he sought sexual relief with 
other women, but could only achieve an orgasm by picturing the face 
and body of his sister and pronouncing her Christian name. From 1895 
to 1901 he wrote her many love letters of a grossly sexual character, 
even asking her to send him a pair of drawers she had worn. He asked 
the measurements of her chest, hips and thighs so that he might have 
a mannequin made to her measurements to love and adore. He appears 
to have achieved this object. 

In a letter of 1901 he made a proposal of incestuous congress with 
his sister. This she declined but, in 1903, supposing that he was 
restored to the normal, allowed him to stay at her house. They had not 
seen each other for more than 20 years and he stayed one night, but fled 
from temptation the following morning, explaining in a subsequent letter 
that although their bodies had grown old, ' mes reves intimes pour toi 
etaient restes jeunes'- In 1905 he became impotent, but still loved his 
sister in dreams. 

In 1913, suffering from arterial and auditory sclerosis; auditory 

s— - 


hallucinations began in the left ear— the voice of his sister—' a hell and 
a paradise in one', but he was not insane. 

The patient was 59 years of age when war broke out. He lived 
in the invaded area of France and nothing has since been heard of him. 
There was never any attempt at psycho-analysis. 

W. H. B. Stoddart. 

B. S. Talmey. Notes on Sex-Aberrations. Psyche and Eros, 1920, 

Vol. I, p. 156. 

Anamneses of a number of cases of sexual perversion. 

E. J. 

F. W. Meagher. An Unusual Foreign Body in the Rectum. New 
York Medical Journal, September 21, 1921. 

The author in reporting this case first draws attention to two unusual 
features in it, the nature of the foreign body, and the persistent refusal 
of the patient to aid any of the five physicians who saw him in arriving 
at a diagnosis although he was intelligent and did not exhibit any real 
psychotic phenomena. 

The case is briefly as follows: The patient, aged twenty-four, was 
admitted to hospital complaining of severe pain in the mid-lumbar region 
for two days. He told the doctor he had no idea of the cause of the 
pain. Examination by a surgeon on the next day revealed the presence of 
a full-sized drinking glass in the rectum (four inches high, two and 
three-eighths inches across the bottom, and two and five-eighths inches 
across the top) which had been introduced inverted. The glass was 
removed and the patient made an uninterrupted recovery. 

When the patient was informed of what had been found he offered 
no explanation and remained rather sullen. He resented attempts to 
obtain a complete history. It was discoved, however, that he had 
% introduced the glass five days before its removal, and he admitted he 

had done it for its erotic effect. He was a painter by occupation and 
lived with his family. He had been somewhat hypochondriacal during 
the past few years. He was of the seclusive type, rather inattentive, 
introverted, selfish, lazy, and had few friends. He always avoided the 
opposite sex, and denied masturbation as ordinarily practised. He 
admitted to active rectal eroticism since his fourteenth year. Twice 
when a boy he permitted rectal coitus. For a long time he introduced 
ordinary candles into his rectum, then he used medicine bottles of 
gradually increasing size, until finally the drinking glass. 

The author considers this case remarkable from the fact that the 
'man had a dangerous foreign body in the rectum; that it caused intense 


pain necessitating the giving of morphine; that though he begged for 
the relief of pain nevertheless he allowed five physicians to examine him 
and purposely hid the facts, even going to the operating room stubbornly 
keeping his story to himself. In looking at it from the author's point 
of view we undoubtedly agree with him. However, the psycho-analyst 
is not astonished at this attitude of the patient. We note that the 
patient only begged for relief of pain, and not for the removal of the 
foreign body. We can only deduce from this that the fact of the foreign 
body in the rectum was exceedingly pleasurable to the patient, and that 
the pain was an unfortunate and unwished for adjunct to the pleasure; 
hence he wished to lose the pain and hoped this could be accomplished 
without being deprived of his source of pleasure. 

In his further remarks on the case the author alludes to the anus 
and rectum as erotogenic zones, and quotes various writers in support 
of this. He also refers to the anal erotic character traits some of which 
the patient exhibited as would be expected. However, the important 
question of homosexuality he does not refer to specifically. There is 
no doubt that the patient is a passive homosexual who as far as is known 
did not practice it except on two occasions when a, boy; but the use of 
candles for introduction into the rectum is obviously intended to symbolise 
the penis. D - Bl 


G. Humphrey. Education and Freudianism. Journal of Abnormal 
Psychology, 1920-21, Vol. XV, p. 350. 

This paper consists of two parts, the first being 'The Freudian 
Mechanisms and The Conditioned Reflex', the second 'The Child's 

Unconscious Mind'. 

These articles are in general a criticism of various Freudian 
mechanisms which the author considers can be explained on his ' Con- 
ditioned Reflex ' idea. (The author has written on this idea in the same 
Journal, February, 1920.) 

The author's idea that psycho-analysis has been practised by the 
Catholic Church for twenty centuries (page 351) leads one to think that 
his knowledge of psycho-analysis must be of a very rudimentary 
character. Such a statement also gives the impression that there is an 
underlying motive in his articles, namely, criticism levelled at the 
Catholic Church. 

In his conclusion of the examination of the Freudian psychology he 
says, ' That the whole movement will have a far-reaching effect upon the 
psychology of the future is beyond question, but the effect will come 




rather from the suggestiveness of the Freudian system than from its 
dogma.' This is certainly an admission, if only a feeble one, considering 
that the author has apparently a very much simpler explanation at hand 
in his 'Conditioned Reflex'. A little practical experience in psycho- 
analysis according to the Freudian technique would probably cause the 
author to modify his views regarding the almost universal application 
of his method of explanation. D- B.- 


H. v. Hug-Hellmuth. Vom wahren Wesen der Kinderseele: Vom 
' Mittleren Kinde '. (On the true nature of the child's soul: the ' middle ' 
child.) Imago, 1921, Vol. VII, Heft 1, S.84. 

The author, starting with some very clever remarks on the only 
child and the 'darling' child and their development in later life, goes 
on to the question of the child who comes in the middle, having older 
and younger brothers and sisters, and whose problems seem to attract 
less interest from parents and teachers than those of the eldest child. 
Psycho-analysts are accustomed to the fact that there is by no means 
the serene happiness and harmony in the nursery that was supposed, to 
prevail. Much has been written and observed about the conflicts of the 
eldest child, his feelings at the arrival of an unwelcome newcomer; one 
knows something about the 'preferred' one who expects all his life to 
be the 'exception', but what do we know about the 'middle' child, of 
whom nobody takes special notice. His fate, too, is not altogether rosy. 
One meets with complaints like those that the older one believes he is 
grown up and the younger thinks she is the same as the ' middle ' one. 
So the one in the middle has no proper companion. He or she feels 
inferior to the elder one and superior to the younger, though — to. his 
grief — his superiority is not granted him by the younger. The in- 
consistency of parents in treating a child as grown-up or as 'tiny', 
according to their own convenience in the special case, tends to make 
matters more difficult. The children in question have to be ' sensible ' 
and let the little one have his will and they have to give in to the elder 
one because they are younger. With girls the question of dress is of 
great importance and as this is mostly decided by practical and not by 
sentimental reasons, it can leave much bitterness in the soul of the 
'middle' one who only comes in for the cast-off clothes of the elder 
sister, while the little one gets new clothes. The outsider, mostly the 
eldest, sees the lot of the younger one from quite a different angle. The • 
very fact that he is neither grown-up nor little seems to him the main 

! advantage because he can make use of that situation, play the grown-up 

when he likes and the baby at other times. Another child, in the middle 
of many, tries hard to attract attention so as not to get lost among the 
others. It prefers scolding to indifference. 


The author comes to the depressing conclusion that a large family 
■does not ensure a happy childhood and that the often praised advantages 
of the large family are mostly illusions. A girl in between two brothers, 
or a boy in between two sisters have, according to her observations, 
chosen the best lot, while three children of the same sex have a life full 
of conflicts. Katharine Jones. 

Melanie Klein. Eine Kinderentwicklung. (The development of a 
child.) Imago, 1921, Vol. VII, p. 251. 

A very detailed paper based on the close observation of a neighbour's 
child, whom the author had the opportunity of watching closely for 
years. It is shewn how a psycho-analytical education, strict adherence to 
the sexual truth, the avoidance of a too violent repression, further a 
child's development. The child in question is a normal, rather slow 
little boy. With the apprehension of sexual phenomena many of his 
little symptoms disappear and his sense of reality gets stronger. The 
author discusses the advantages and difficulties of analysing small children 
who — according to her opinion — mostly want an analytical talking over 
of their problems. The plan of a Kindergarten directed by teachers 
trained in psycho-analysis is advocated. Katherine Jones. 

D. Forsyth. The Rudiments of Character. A Study in Infant 
Behaviour. Psychoanalytic Review, 1921, Vol. VIII, p. 117- 

An important study which should be read in the original. The first 
part is a very understanding presentation of the phenomena of birth 
and of infantile auto-erotism, in which the importance attached to 
respiratory libido is especially noteworthy. In the second section he 
terms the stage of psychical equilibrium the vegetative state, discusses 
sleep, and distinguishes three phases in the development of the infantile 
mind: (1) The vegetative one, (2) the nutri-excretal one comprising the 
activity of the erotogenic zones, (3) that in which activity of the skin 
and special senses are added. The third section deals with love and 
hate. It is suggested that dementia praecox represents a failure in 
passing from the second to the third stage indicated above. Distinctions 
are drawn between oral love and anal love and between oral hate and 
anal hate. E. J. 

Applied Psycho- Analysis 

V. H. Mottrara. Psycho-Analysis in Life and Art. University 
Magazine, Canada, April 1915. 


The author shows considerable knowledge of Freud's work and speaks 
appreciatively of it. After sketching the fundamental theses of psycho- 
analysis, he devotes the major portion of his article to applying the 
principles elucidated by Freud in ' Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens * 
to characters in literature, particularly some found in the works of 
George Meredith. While the article holds nothing new for a psycho- 
analyst, it will serve to spread a knowledge of psycho-analysis among 
people who seldom come in touch with it. C R. Payne. 

H. E. Barnes. Psychology and History: Some Reasons for 
Predicting their More Active Cooperation in the Future. American 
Journal of Psychology, 1919, Vol. XXX, p. 337. 

An extremely interesting paper which does not lend itself to full 
abstracting and will repay reading in the original. After describing 
the main modes of approach to the interpretation of history the author 
advances the thesis that the psychological one is the most comprehensive 
of all. He discusses the difficulties and advantages of applying psycho- 
analytical knowledge for this purpose, being enthusiastic about its future 
possibilities. The greater part of the paper is taken up with a series 
of very suggestive hints of the ways in which this could be done, 
ranging from analytic comments on various American Presidents to the 
relation between Puritanism and smuggling. Unfortunately the author's 
knowledge of psycho-analysis, perhaps owing to war conditions, is 
practically limited to American writers, and not to the best of these. 

E. J. 

L. Pierce Clark. Unconscious Motives underlying the Personalities 
of Great Statesmen and their Relation to Epoch-Making Events. A 
Psychologic Study of Abraham Lincoln. Psychoanalytic Review, 1921, 
Vol. VIII, p. 1. 

Clark here relates the main events of Lincoln's life from a 
psychological point of view. He considers that Lincoln was dominated 
by an intense mother-fixation, which was the cause of his repeated 
depressions and also of his religious— or non-religious — views. 

E. J. 

Geza Dukes. Psychoanalytische Gesichtspunkte in der juridischen 
Auffassung der ' Schuld '. (The psycho-analytical point of view in the 
legal conception of guilt.) Imago, 192 1, Vol. VII, S. 225. 

The paper shows how deeply legal conceptions are bound up with 
psychological ones. Guilt in the legal sense deals with the conception 




of willing a certain act and of knowing that its consequences are 
dangerous. These are psychological conceptions and the paper very 
ably investigates how far modern law and practice follow the lines 
shown by Freud and where they adhere to old customs. 

Katherine Jones. 

Pierre Bovet. Le Sentiment filial et la Religion. Revue de 
Theologie et de Philosophie, Lausanne, No. 36, Aout-Oct. 20, 1921. 

L'auteur de cette petite etude apporte quelques confirmations de l'hypo- 
these d'apres laquelle le sentiment religieux serait le prolongement ou 
l'alteration de l'amour filial infantile. La croyance en l'ubiquite, en la 
saintete, en l'omniscience de Dieu le Pere aurait son origine dans le 
rapport affectif tout special de l'enfant avec son pere. Ce rapport, fait 
d'admiration surtout, serait expose a une crise que 1'auteur place 
approximativement entre 4 et 6 ans. 

L'auteur ensuite indique la relation qui existe entre le sentiment 
filial et le sentiment patriotique, entre le sentiment religieux d'une part 
et le loyalisme d'autre part. "Leur commune origine est de nature a 
expliquer dans une large mesure leur alliance et leur rivalite dans l'ame 
humaine". F. Morel. 


P. C. Van der Wolck. Zur Psychoanalyse des Rauchopfers. 
(Contributions to a psycho-analysis of the offering of incense.) Imago, 
1921, Vol. VII, S. 131. 

An interesting paper on the case of a highly cultured young 
student who was a fervent collector of censers and found sexual gratifi- 
cation by masturbating into them. He had turned away from normal 
love because his first experience infected him with the disease he was 
made greatly afraid of by his education. A recurrent dream — naked 
young girls gathering his sperma into censers while he masturbated — 
gave him the idea of his practice. While indulging in this practice he 
imagined himself having intercourse so that the censer symbolised in 
fact the vagina. Some deep and far-reaching remarks on the 
symbolism of this act, on the importance of smell for sexual excitation, 
and some interesting interpretations of the Song of Songs and Indian 
religion (coitus as a religious act) conclude the paper. 

Katherine Jones. 

C. Moxon. Mystical Ecstasy and Hysterical Dream-States. Journal 
of Abnormal Psychology, 1920-21, Vol. XV, p. 329. 

In this short article the author seeks to bring mystical ecstasy into 
line with hysterical dream-states, and considers that the ecstasy cor- 


responds to the four stages of the dream-states as given by Dr. Abraham 
in his article on Dream-states. The writer says that in mystics as well 
as in hysterics there is a primary auto-erotic or narcissistic activity, a 
secondary repression, and a final return of the repressed material in the * 

sublimated or spiritualised form of a religious experience or a mystic 
ecstasy. D " B " 


M. Pierre Bovet. Le sentiment religieux. Etude de psychologic 
Revue de Theologie et de Philosophie, Lausanne, 19 19, No. 32. 

Le sentiment religieux se retrouve avec toutes ses varietes chez l'en- 
fant deja. II est done un fait original ou limitation du milieu ambiant 
ne joue pas de role. 

L'auteur enumere quelques unes des theories qui ont ete proposees 
pour expliquer ce sentiment: 

La theorie " erotogenetique " de Binet-Sangle et de Schroeder, 
notoirement hostile au Christianisme, d'apres laquelle la volupte sexuelle 
et Pemotion religieuse sont identiques. 

James, dans un chapitre de l'Expdrience religieuse (1902), montre 
l'insuffisance de cette theorie. Mais la solution qu'il propose est, elle 
aussi, insuffisante. 

Stanley Hall constate des concordances entre revolution de la religion 
individuelle et celle des emotions relatives a l'autre sexe. 

Flournoy, enfin, et la psychanalyse, renouvellent entierement le pro- 
bleme avec la notion de la "sublimation". 

Mais pour l'auteur la solution n'est pas definitive encore. Par la- 
quelle de ses fonctions — amour filial, amour conjugal, amour parental 
— l'amour humain s'apparente-t-il a l'amour divin? C'est par l'amour 
filial, ainsi que cela est condense dans l'expression courante piiti 


Dans la phase infantile la toute-science, la toute-puissance, la toute- 
bonte sont attributes aux parents. Or vers la cinquieme ou sixieme 
annee une crise de rationalisme se produit: L'omniscience paternelle 
s'effondre dans l'esprit de l'enfant; la toute-puissance parentale se 
trouve entamee, la toute-bonte egalement, par le fait de la com- 
paraison. L'auteur donne quelques documents interessants relatifs a 
cette crise. F. Morel. 


Stanley Hall. Thanatophobia and Immortality. American Journal 
of Psychology, October 1915, p. 55°- 

Thu article, 63 pages long, deals with the fear of death and the 
belief in a future life. The former subject is dealt with «ot so much 
as a phobia, strictly speaking, as a fear amongst normal people. Much 


of the paper, relating rather to ethical and philosophical considerations, 
is not of direct psycho-analytical interest, though it would be in any 
case of value to us on account of the extensive material contained in it, 
both pedalogical and folkloristic. 

Hall first points out how much the psychology of death has in 
common with that of love, especially from the new psychogenetic stand- 
point. ' There is a sense in which all fears and phobias are at bottom 
fears of death or of the abatement or arrest of vitality, and also a sense 
in which all desires and wishes are for the gratification of love. The 
one is the great negation, and the other the supreme affirmation of the 
will to live'. ' The real meaning of death is not understood until puberty, 
both death and love show fragmentary and generally at first automatic 
outcrops from early infancy on'. From some 525 replies to question- 
naires it appears that the first impression of death is most often a 
sensation of coldness in touching a dead relative, and the reaction is a 
nervous start at the contrast with the warmth to which the child is 
accustomed from contact: Then comes immobility, and the fact of 
prolonged absence. The accessories of death, trivial matters in con- 
nection with the coffin, funeral, etc., are especially apt to remain 
prominent in the memory. It is noted how often children rejoice in the 
fact of death, especially in respect of advantages thereby accruing, such 
as the partial replacement of the dead person, father or mother. ' Even 
in the most highly evolved emotional lives this is only a question of 
preponderance, for if our analysis is not mistaken, there never was a 
death, even of a lover, that did not bring some joy to the survivor, 
swallowed up though this component be in grief.' It is a pity that Hall 
does not make any further use of this point, which he merely notes in 
passing, for he does not appear to realise the bearing it has on many of 
the problems he raises. The same comment applies to his temporary 
realisation of the disbelief in one's own mortality, which, nevertheless, 
he clearly states : ' Death is primarily negative, privative, and, as nature 
abhors a vacuum, so the soul baulks at the very idea of annihilation.' 

Hall, by constant reiteration, appears to lay great stress on the 
'disgusting' associations of death (decomposition) as playing an im- 
portant part in our attitude towards the subject. Though he does not 
definitely draw any psycho-analytical conclusion from this, one can see that 
a certain association lies near in his mind. 'The thanatophobia of the 
race and the repulsiveness of carrion have kept the doors of the tomb 
effectively locked, so that we know far more of excrement than we do 
of decaying bodies of men'. 'That necrophilism has its germs in in- 
fantile experience as truly as does anal-eroticism there can be little 
doubt '. ' How can a lover who to-day dotes and gloats upon the eyes, 
mouth, and every part of the body of his inamorata, next day contemplate 
her corpse destined to rot through a series of stages, from every one of 



which every sense would turn away with horror? To mitigate such a 
shock, and to save the psyche from disintegrating under it, all these 
vicariating, easing and defensive mechanisms have been slowly evolved. 
Their worth is in what they save us from, more than in what they give . 
' I am convinced that an analysis of burial customs makes it plain that 
many if not most modes of disposal of the dead are motivated in no 
small part by the impulse to repress or divert from thoughts of 
putrescence, and that the belief in reanimation and another life, though 
often evident, is far less prominent that most anthropologists, not to 
say all theologians, have been wont to assume.' 

He does not mention Freud's view of the part played by death- 
wishes towards loved ones in determining a belief in the soul and after- 
survival, but discusses this on the conventional lines. ' One of the chief 
causes that first suggested and then made man cling with such persistence 
to the belief in souls was the far greater difficulty in grasping death as 
annihilation. The passing of the body cannot mean the end of all. 
Something must survive, for the mind, like nature, abhors a vacuum, 
and hence we have to postulate something in place of the vanished body. 
Thus belief in the immortality of the soul arose partly as a compensation 
which man's autistic nature evolved to make up for the realisation of 
the mortality of the body.' Similarly in connection with the fear of 
ghosts, he discusses the dread of their retribution ' for neglected or 
violated duties', without mentioning the much more potent factor of 
guilty wishes in the unconscious. 

For those interested in the topic the article is well worth reading on 
account of the material therein contained, but it cannot be said that 
it contributes much that is original to our ideas on the subject. 

E. J. 


J. H. Leuba. A Modern Mystic. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 

1920, Vol. XV, p. 209. 

Although the author states that ' in every conspicuous Christian 
mystic a connection can be drawn between sex-love and religious ecstasy 
he in no way attempts to explain this connection in the mystic, Mile. Ve, 
whose case he describes. He seems inclined to lay most stress on a 
physiological explanation of this mystic's conditions . D - B - 

A. Stocker. Essai psychoanalytique sur la cruche cassee, de Grenze. 
L'Er.cephale, 1921, p. 78. 

Apres une introduction sur les services que peut rendre la psa. a 
Part, l'auteur remarque le parallelisme qu'il y a dans le tableau de 


Greuze, entre la cruche cassee et le ventre de la jeune fille qui la porte. 
Elle tient ses mains en formant entre ses doigts un espace vide qui 
rappelle le trou de la cruche. Est-ce la un pur hazard? Stacker rap- 
pelle ensuite que dans Interpretation des reves, d'autres auteurs ont 
trouve que la cruche symbolisait le ventre de la femme. 

Cache derriere la jeune fille, se trouve aussi un lion, et a ce propos 
l'auteur etudie le symbole du lion. 

La redaction de 1'Encephale s'est crue obligee de faire suivre cet 
article (p. 96) de la note suivante: 

' Cet article montre jusqu'ou peut aller le f reudisme et il est bien 
entendu qu'il. n'engage que son auteur et que l'orientation de 1'Encephale 
reste avant tout clinique, anatomopathologique et biologique.' 



K. J. Karlson. Psychoanalysis and Mythology. Journal of Religious 
Psychology, Nov. 1914, Vol. VII, pp. 137-213. 

The title of this paper is rather a misnomer, for the subject of the 
paper is not so much the relation of psycho-analysis to mythology as the 
general psychology of myth-formation, and the mention of psycho- 
analysis occupies less than a fifth of the whole paper. A long general 
account of mythology, its phenomena and the explanations that have 
been offered of them, is given, myths being divided into ' nature myths ' 
and ' hero myths '. Then an elementary and not over successful account 
of Freud's psychological theory follows, this being presented in a sym- 
pathetic manner. The author's conclusions are very general in nature, 
but one gathers that he holds the human explanation of mythology, i. e. 
that myths do not arise so much from interest in external phenomena as 
from the projections of internal emotions, of which, as the author admits, 
the sexual is by far the most important. The article is a very readable 
account of modern views of mythology, without being in any way 

It is perhaps worth while calling attention to a curious mistake in 
nomenclature committed by the author. He says that the word ' V or- 
bewujite ' is to be translated in English by ' f oreconscious ', and ' Un- 
bewufite' by 'either unconscious or preconscious '. It must be remarked, 
however, on the contrary, that in English ' foreconscious ' and ' pre- 
conscious' have exactly the same meaning, of course ' Vorbewuflte ', 
though the second is to be preferred as not being a hybrid. E. J. 

L. Pruette. A Psycho-Analytical Study of Edgar Allan Poe. 
American Journal of Psychology, 1920, Vol. XXXI, p. 370. 

A long, but superficial study of Poe. It is not hard to label many 
of Poe's writings as sadistic, but the only light the author throws on 


this feature is the circumstance that Poe, like millions of other people, 
spent a few years in an English school and therefore was perhaps beaten 
in childhood. Following Brill, she connects some of his traits, especially 
the craving for affection, with the fact he was an only child. But for 
the most part the work is a mere translation of his personal and literary 
attributes into a mixture of Freudian, Adlerian and Jungian terminology 
and contributes little to an understanding of their psychogenesis. 

E. J. 

Leo Kaplan. The Psychology of Literary Invention. Psyche and 
Eros, 1921, Vol. II, p. 65. 

After discussing the comparative method of research into the study 
of literary invention, Kaplan gives an interesting analysis of the Don 
Juan legend in literature. E. J. 


W. S. Swisher. A Psychoanalysis of Browning's Pauline. Psycho- 
analytic Review, 1920, Vol. VII, p. US- 
Browning's first poem, which he published anonymously and after- 
wards owned with reluctance, is thought to be his most autobiographical. 
Swisher here subjects it to an analysis and comes to the conclusion that 
it represents the conflict of Browning's adolescent years. It appears to 
be largely dictated by devoted admiration for Shelley, and ultimately for 

his own father. *• 9' 


J. E. Towne. Scepticism as a Freudian ' Defence-Reaction '. Psycho- 
analytic Review, 1920, Vol. VII, p. 159- 

A psycho-analysis of Bazaroff, the hero of Turgenev's most famous 
novel. It is maintained that the atheism and unbelief so characteristic 
of Bazaroff represents a powerful defence-reaction against the bonds 
unconsciously attaching him to his parents. E. J. 


Beyond the Pleasure Principle. By Sigm. Freud. M.D., LL.D. Trans- 
lated by C. J. M. Hubback. (International Psycho-Analytical Press. 1922. 
Pp. 83. Price 6s.) 

In a series of his later writings, originally planned under the title 
of ' Introduction to a Metapsychology ', Freud proposed to himself the 
task of a systematic completion of psycho-analysis by ' an elucidation and 
deepening' of its theoretical premises. The great development of the 
psycho-analytical movement and the abundance of experimental material 
already secured were enough to warrant such an undertaking, but no 
doubt it also had its origin in the justifiable wish to place the work of 
a life-time in a permanent framework. Owing to the well-known classical 
method of the author, by which not more than one step forward is ever 
made from an assured basis of fact into general theory, it came about 
that while many problems had been advanced and elucidated to some 
degree others had merely been sketched in the barest outline. In both 
cases the awakened interest of the reader was led to expect a future 
continuation of the line of thought taken up. And in fact each new 
work, as it handled the great problem of the psychic mechanisms from 
different aspects, extended further or more exactly formulated what had 
been already stated, and also usually provided a new and hitherto 
unnoticed problem. This method of advancing a young science, established 
and derived as it is from the forces innate in the science itself, is 
satisfactory to all except those who are unwilling to take full account of 
the situation. Psycho-analysis is in the first instance an empirical 
science — so far as the description is suitable — approaching psychic 
phenomena in the first place impartially and letting the facts speak for 
themselves. Arrangement and structure of the material so afforded was 
subsequently demanded, when it proved that analytical experience could 
be employed methodically. What was recognised as conforming to rule 
bestowed form on the material presented, whereby it could be compared 
with similar phenomena, and be measured and tested by them again. 
Observation as such remained of the first importance; so long as the 
facts were not displaced, the point from which they were reviewed 
could be chosen according to theoretic, considerations. 

If such criteria are applied to the development of psycho-analysis up 
to the present time, it must be admitted that its fundamentals, contained 
as they are in the material supplied by observations, have not changed, 



and that progress has been rendered possible by a theory which, where 
applicable, is more in the nature of a concise and clear marshalling of 
the facts than of any direct moulding of them. 

The essential complexes, such as the psychic determination of 
' functional ' forms of disease, the idea of infantile sexuality, dream- 
making as the work of the unconscious, and the latter as an explanation 
of symptomatology as a whole— all these now have a nomenclature but 
depend as always on their content for their validity. 

The concept of sexuality has received an extension of the original 
formula by the introduction of narcissism, and the theory of the instincts 
by the recognition of separate 'ego-instincts'. To all appearance, 
however, this last theoretical assumption is not yet conclusively proved. 
Within the sphere of practice comes the substitution of the 'abreaction' 
formula as a principle of therapy by the recognition of the unlimited 
possibilities of transference phenomena. It is unnecessary to emphasise 
further the good results of this new departure: very substantial progress 
has thereby been effected. The recently inaugurated 'active therapy' 
demands no modification of the analytical attitude, its sole intention 
being to give a more decided impetus to the endless course of the purely 
explorative work by a utilisation of certain transference forces, and at 
the same time to serve the purpose of that need for practical measures 
which, indeed predominantly makes an analysis possible. 

This brings us to the principal theme of the treatise under con- 
sideration, but our attention must not be engaged by the first impression, 
when what is at issue is a more profound modification of our views 
concerning mental operations. 'In the psycho-analytical theory of the 
mind we take it for granted that the course of mental processes is 
automatically regulated by "the pleasure-principle"; that is to say, we 
believe that any given process originates in an unpleasant state of 
tension and thereupon determines for itself such a path that its ultimate 
issue coincides with a relaxation of this tension, i. e. with avoidance of 
"pain" or with production of pleasure' (p. i). In this opening sentence, 
Freud gives us an exact and precise summary of the part played by 
pleasure in the chain of psychic events. This part is, as will be shown 
almost immediately, an economic one; it does not bring about the event- 
it is important to recognise this— but merely conditions its direction 
and has besides a definite effect on the time of occurrence. We must 
openly admit that such an exact formulation differs a little from the 
earlier ones (cf. ' Formulierungen iiber die zwei Prinzipien des psychi- 
schen Geschehens', Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, III., 
1913). Although the function of the pleasure-principle has been long 
and fully admitted as part of the demonstrative proof of analysis, it has 
never attained to the status of a law; it was merely a heuristic judgement, 
that is a partial generalisation with all the characteristics of a preliminary 


survey. The proposition of a ' reality-principle ' too, regarded as a piece 
of scientific theory, lacked the necessary unambiguity and clearness: 
it clung too closely to details, and for that reason ignored important 
criteria. Fundamentally it is again the time-element (the check to the 
claim made by instinct for realisation) that is finally decisive in 
establishing its distinction from the pleasure-principle. 

A degree of indeterminateness of this kind in the formulation of a 
conception can, however, only temporarily obscure the outlook: the 
fundamental facts remain and themselves provide the explanation. The 
introduction of the economic point of view led to the recognition that the 
pleasure-principle remained predominant for the direction taken by the 
psychic processes, but this did not imply as a necessary corollary that 
the psychic processes made their appearance as an outcome of the 
pleasure-principle. The force that releases them may be something quite 
different. At this point Freud has taken up the novel considerations 
which emerge from the recognition that something lies 'Beyond the 
Pleasure-Principle'. The lines along which such a conclusion has been 
reached can be accurately traced. Psycho-analysis of the so-called 
traumatic neuroses revealed a psychic fixation of the patient on the 
trauma, which did not as a rule manifest itself in waking life (in con- 
version-hysteria symptoms the fixation is clearly present), but which 
on the other hand is invariably lived over again in dreams. ' This fact 
has caused less surprise than it merits.' 

The wish-fulfilment tendency of dreams would surely be better 
served by the reflection of images ' from the time of his normal health 
or of his hoped-for recovery' (p. 10). Since the patient uses no such 
mode of satisfaction, it would seem that he is under the dominance of 
a more powerful compulsion. Here Freud breaks off and follows up 
instead the clue afforded by a child's game. A very striking piece of 
observation led him to establish the fact that the infantile psyche is able 
to dispose of painful experiences by repeating the experience as a game. 
The passive role in the child is thereby exchanged for an active part 
(pp 13 14)- F«ud considers that the observed data of the traumatic 
neuroses together with those of children's play are not so entirely free 
from ambiguity as to necessitate a provisional abandonment of the 
primary significance of the pleasure-principle, but that nevertheless it 
has become problematic. Approach from a third side then proved itself 
as the most promising in the way of results. Freud turned to a 
phenomenon that, in every analysis that is carried down to a certain 
depth, makes its appearance as regularly as do the transference- 
phenomena and, moreover, in relation to it: viz. the curious tendency of 
the patient ' to repeat as a current experience what is repressed, instead 
of. as the physician would prefer to see him do, recollecting it as a 
fragment of the past ' (p. 18). This ' repetition-compulsion ' ' also revives 


experiences of the past . . . which could at no time have been satisfactions, 
even of impulses since repressed' (p. 20). In a convincing exposition 
Freud shows that such manifestations arc always concerned with the 
typical situations of infantile sex-life, which has this peculiar compulsive 
character of tending to be revived as an experience. 

The familiar examples are thus brought into a new light. A brief 
reflection then shows that in ordinary life among people who are not 
neurotic there also prevails a similar compulsion, which continually 
leads back into the same situations in life; this is external to analysis 
and is simply one of the forms taken by human character. Where this 
'endless repetition of the same' is passively experienced, there results 
a profound sense of a daemonic trend in existence. ' In the light of such 
observations as these, drawn from behaviour during transference and 
from the fate of human beings, we may venture to make the assumption 
that there really exists in psychic life a repetition-compulsion, which 
goes beyond the pleasure-principle. We shall now also feel disposed to 
relate to this compelling force the dreams of shock-patients and the play- 
impulse in children. We must of course remind ourselves that only in 
rare cases can we recognise the workings of this repetition-compulsion 

in a pure form, without the co-operation of other motives There 

remains enough over to justify the assumption of a repetition-compulsion, 
and this seems to us more primitive, more elementary, more instinctive 
than the pleasure-principle which is displaced by it. But if there is 
such a repetition-compulsion in psychic life, we should naturally like to 
know with what function it corresponds, under what conditions it may 
appear, and in what relation it stands to the pleasure-principle, to which 
we have heretofore ascribed the domination over the course of the pro- 
cesses of excitation in the psychic life' (pp. 24, 25). 

The conclusions reached by Freud up to this point are such as readily 
admit of clinical investigation and confirmation, and depend in the main 
on observed material of a thoroughly familiar kind. The method alone 
is a new one, in accordance with which Freud summarises his earlier 
detailed observations and establishes legitimate conclusions on the basis 
they afford. Clearly he does not find sufficient warrant for assuming the 
repetition-compulsion as one of the acknowledged phenomena of the 
psychic life: observations of the most self-evident kind may still be 
deceptive and a typical feature is not necessarily a law. Only the 
scientific co-ordination of the empirical with the fundamental facts of 
the psychical processes, with the functions of the systems of consciousness 
and with the manifestations of instinct can ensure validity to the principle. 
To base his assumption Freud goes far afield, yet not without at the same 
time giving us an abundance of fresh insight. 

He pursues the investigation with a psycho-analytic systematisation 
of the problem of consciousness. His exposition is in all respects the 


logical outcome of the works mentioned in the opening paragraph of 
this review and the results of these are taken as a basis. As to con- 
sciousness we assume that it registers the excitations (stimuli) streaming 
in from the external world, and also the feelings of pleasure and pain 
which are derived from within the psychic apparatus (instincts). From 
this the position in space of the conscious system may be deduced: 'It 
must lie on the boundary between the outer and inner, must face towards 
the outer world, and must envelop the other psychic systems' (p. 26). 
This metapsychological description, as Freud designates it, is in striking 
agreement with the localisation of cerebral anatomy, according to which 
consciousness is referred to the superficial layer of the brain. From 
this position a second, no less important characteristic of the system of 
consciousness becomes explicable. Psycho-analytic experience has 
shown ' that all excitation processes in the other systems leave in them 
permanent traces forming the foundations of memory-records which have 
nothing to do with the question of becoming conscious. They are often 
strongest and most enduring when the process that left them behind 
never reached consciousness at all' (p. 27). On other grounds too, more 
particularly the economic (in accordance with which consciousness, 
owing to its exposed position, must remain permanently free to receive 
"new excitations) we must necessarily infer that this system is relieved 
of the memory records. ' If one reflects how little we know from other 
sources about the origin of consciousness, the pronouncement that con- 
sciousness arises in the place of the memory-traces must be conceded at 
least the importance of a statement which is to some extent definite' 
(p. 28). With the help of a hypothetical example from the mechanism 
of evolution Freud seeks to give further precision to his train of thought. 
In essence these lead to the assumption of a 'protection against 
stimulation', which is made necessary by the localization of consciousness 
if it is not to be pressed out of existence by the overpowering energies 
of the outer world. The connection of the externally-localized sense 
organs with consciousness furnishes us with an explanation of the way 
such a protective barrier was gradually formed. Freud gives a very 
effective descfiption of the functions of the sense organs; according to 
his exposition of the subject it is characteristic of them 'that they 
assimilate only very small quantities of the outer stimulus, and take in 
only samples of the outer world; one might compare them to antennae 
which touch at the outer world and then constantly withdraw from it 

again' (pp. 31-2). 

When this addition to knowledge has been assimilated a more exact 
comprehension of the traumatic neuroses becomes possible, in respect to 
their mode of origin. ' Such external excitations as are strong enough 
to break through the barrier against stimuli we call traumatic' (p-34>- 
As soon as the psychic apparatus is flooded with these crowding stimuli 


the urgent task of 'binding' the surplus masses instantly arises. In 
pain, a problem which has repeatedly emerged in earlier expositions, 
Freud recognises as it were a signal from the place of eruption of the 
stimulus, to meet which 'an immense countercharge' — that is, an exten- 
sive draining of other psychic systems — must be set up. The binding 
of the stimulus, in which lies the true function of the pathological 
condition, consists in a translation of the energy streaming into the 
psychic apparatus from the free-flowing to the quiescent state. It is in 
Freud's opinion much to be regretted that our still very defective 
knowledge of the laws of biology does not allow of our expressing these 
relations of physiological chemical formulae in any clearer way, because 
' the nature of the excitation process in the elements of the psychic 
systems' is entirely unknown to us (p. 35). From a comparison with 
the old ' shock ' theory Freud succeeds in carrying further and widening 
the new view of the traumatic neuroses. It is an important fact that 
in this view the significance of the pleasure-principle is relegated to the 

The discussions which follow, together with their surprising con- 
clusions, form by far the most interesting part of the treatise. Here 
numerous avenues for constructive thought are opened and unsuspected 
bases for research laid bare, promising clear gain to the theory of 
psycho-analysis; but these will again bring down on it the criticisms 
of its opponents, whose heavy artillery is not to be silenced even when 
directed against its most valuable achievements. These critics will 
certainly not omit to designate Freud's recent pronouncements as 
speculations which are quite outside discussion. It must be allowed, 
however, that it is a very different thing to put forward without pre- 
judice the results of observation or to take a tract of accumulated 
experience and fortify it with a theory. Every distinguished scientific 
investigator should be allowed the right to relieve the assiduous toil of 
detailed work with an occasional outlook into the general. The elasticity 
of a scientific theory is partly dependent on such animating from time 
to time. 

To proceed with the epitome. Freud now makes use of the con- 
ditions observed in the traumatic neuroses in an original way, comparing 
the possible effects of a trauma with the instinctual excitations of living 
substances. This is, as we shall see, an idea with far-reaching 
implications. ' The fact that the sensitive cortical layer has no protective 
barrier against excitations emanating from within will have one inevitable 
consequence: viz. that these transmissions of stimuli acquire increased 
economic significance and frequently give rise to economic disturbances 
comparable to the traumatic neuroses. The most prolific sources of such 
inner excitations are the so-called instincts of the organism, the represen- 
tatives of all forces arising within the body and transmitted to the 


psychic apparatus — the most important and most obscure element in 
psychological research' (p. 41). The impulse striving for discharge can 
approach it only through the unconscious and follows, as does the latter, 
the lines of the 'primary process'; that is to say, using similar 
phraseology, it represents an unbound, freely-moving charge, which has 
to be mastered by the psychic apparatus before it can be accommodated 
to the pleasure-principle. Its independence of the latter expresses itself 
precisely in it's obedience to the repetition-compulsion. If an attempt is 
made to comprehend in one principle the relevant clinical experiences 
especially the earliest childish activities (play) and the reproductions from 
infantile life that appear in transference, the following important 
questions arise: 'In what way is the instinctive connected with the compulsion 
to repetition? At this point the idea is forced upon us that we have 
stumbled on the trace of a general and hitherto not clearly recognised 
— or at least not expressly emphasised — characteristic of instinct, perhaps 
of all organic life. According to this, an instinct would be a tendency 
innate in the living organic matter impelling it towards the reinstatement 
of an earlier condition, one which it had to abandon under the influence 
of external disturbing forces — a kind of organic elasticity, or, to put it 
another way, the manifestation of inertia in organic life' (pp-44-S)- 

This is a preliminary reply, in which 'the expression of the con- 
servative nature of living beings' seems to be taken as a starting-point. 
The trend of instincts towards development is only apparent; in reality 
we must recognise, for example, ' that in the phenomena of heredity and 
in the facts of embryology we have most impressive proofs of the organic 
compulsion to repetition' (p. 45)- Such arguments should merely 
justify the direction in which we look for. proof. The final conclusion 
regarding the question raised leads to establishing the regressive 
character of instinct and is given by Freud in the following words: 'If 
then all organic instincts are conservative, historically acquired, and are 
directed towards regression, towards reinstatement of something earlier, 
we are obliged to place all results of an organic development 
to the credit of external, disturbing and distracting influences. The 
rudimentary creature would from its very beginning not have wanted to 
•change, would, if circumstances had remained the same, have always 
merely repeated the same course of existence. But in the last resort it 
must have been the evolution of our earth, and its relation to the sun, 
that has left its imprint on the development of organism. The con- 
servative organic instincts have absorbed every one of these enforced 
alterations in the course of life and have stored them for repetition; they 
thus present the delusive appearance of forces striving after change and 
progress, while they are merely endeavouring to reach an old goal by ' 
ways both old and new. This final goal of all organic striving can be 
stated too. It would be counter to the conservative nature of instinct if 



the goal of life were a state never hitherto reached. It must rather be 
an ancient starting-point, which the living being left long ago, and to 
which it harks back again by all the circuitous paths of development. 
If we may assume as an experience admitting of no exception that 
everything living dies from causes within itself, and returns to the 
inorganic, we can only say " The goal of all life is death", and, casting 
back, "The inanimate was there before the animate"' (pp. 46-7). 

In all vital phenomena, whatever the intensity with which they are 
manifested, we are thus able to recognise only a circuitous route to 
death, which is prepared for step by step and assured by the conservative 
instincts, as though it were the fulfilment of an immanent law. 
Fortunately, however, a theoretic conclusion of this kind cannot be 
regarded as unassailable in the face of the sexual instinct, or rather of 
the nuclear cells, whose fate depends on the sexual instinct. Biological 
research has for long supposed them to be the carriers of a potential 
immortality; which, with the help of 'their inherited and newly-acquired 
instinctive dispositions \ are capable of detachment from the mortal 
organism and comply with the immanent law of death only after they 
have again built up a living body. ' Of the highest significance is the 
fact that the reproductive cell is fortified for this function, or only 
becomes capable of it, by mingling with another like it and yet different 
from it' (p. 50). These instincts which ensure and protect the union of the 
germ-cells are the sexual instincts. 'They are the actual life-instincts; 
the fact that they run counter to the trend of the other instincts which 
lead towards death indicates the contradiction between them and the 
rest, one which the theory of neuroses has recognised as full of 
significance. There is as it were an oscillating rhythm in the life of 
organisms: the one group of instincts presses forward to reach the final 
goal of life as quickly as possible, the other flies back at a certain point 
on the way only to traverse the same stretch once more from a given 
spot and thus to prolong the duration of the journey. Although sexuality 
and the distinction of the sexes certainly did not exist at the dawn of 
life, nevertheless it remains possible that the instincts which are later 
described as sexual were active from the very beginning and took up the 
part of opposition to the role of the " ego-instincts " then, and not only 
at some later time' (p. 51). 

We cannot conceal from ourselves that in spite of the persuasive 
force of this train of ideas an extraordinary difficulty is encountered 
when we try to identify the actual conditions. Let us recall in this 
connection that the opposition between sexual instincts and ego-instincts 
has been gradually obliterated, in spite of the original sharp distinction 
between the two (especially in the pathology of the psycho-neuroses), 
since on closer observation a libidinal component had to be admitted 
even within the so-called ego-instinct. The hypothesis of this opposition 




undoubtedly enabled us to obtain a comprehension and grasp of numerous 
manifestations of mental life; but it was never possible exactly to 
describe the actual residue of the ego-instinct when the libidinal com- 
ponent had been subtracted, which would justify the continued use of 
the term. Now, however, the problem of the compulsion to repetition, 
the existence of which we cannot deny and which we can only explain 
through the tendency of all organic nature to regress into a state of 
inanimate being, leads us to a revised assumption concerning the ego- 
instinct, as guaranteeing death 1 by its very existence, whereas the sexual 
instincts urge towards the maintenance of life. Such an ' exquisitely 
dualistic conception' governing instinctual life is a postulate of psycho- 
logy: its application to the facts of biological research, particularly 
in reference to the protozoa, Freud is obliged to describe as uncertain. 

' At this point the doubt may then occur to us whether any good 
purpose has been served in looking for the answer to the question as to 
natural death in the study of the protozoa. The primitive organisation 
of these forms of life may conceal from us important conditions which 
are present in them too, but can be recognised only among the higher 
animals where they have achieved for themselves a morphological ex- 
pression. If we abandon the morphological point of view for the 
dynamic, it may be a matter of entire indifference to us whether the 
natural death of the protozoa can be proved or not. With them the 
substance later recognised as immortal has not yet separated itself in 
any way from the part subject to death. The instinctive forces which 
endeavour to conduct life to death might be active in them too from the 
beginning and yet their effect might be so obscured by that of the forces 
tending to preserve life that any direct evidence of their existence 

becomes hard to establish Our expectation that biology would 

entirely put out of court any recognition of the death-instincts has not 
been fulfilled. It is open to us to occupy ourselves further with this 
possibility, if we have other reasons for doing so. The striking 
resemblance between Weismann's separation of soma and germ-plasm and 
our distinction between the death and the life-instincts remains unshaken, 
however, and retains its value' (pp. 61, 62). 

In place of strict proofs, which are not forthcoming, we are 
presented with an efficient psychology equipped with all the accessories 
required to solve the many pressing problems which lie within this 
sphere of knowledge. In this section Freud's line of argument takes on 
an entirely provisional character and ranges freely; it is, however, 
extraordinarily stimulating in its revelation of a brilliant intellect 

1 In an ingenious article by Georg Simmel this idea has been roughly 
formulated. Death as an immanent force makes individual development 
possible and as its fiamewoik raises it to its loftiest activity. (Zur Metaphysik 
<les Todes.) 



untiringly renewing the attack upon problems which it cannot leave 
alone. We may quote two suggestive passages which are especially full 
of significance. In the first the attempt is made ' to transfer the Libido 
theory yielded by psycho-analysis to the relationship of the cells to one 
another and to imagine that it is the vital or sexual instincts active in 
every cell that take the other cells for their " object", partially neutralise 
their death instincts, i.e. the processes stimulated by these, and to 
preserve those cells in life, while other cells do the same for them, and 
still others sacrifice themselves in the exercise of this libidinous function. 
The germ cells themselves would behave in a completely " narcissistic " 
fashion, as we are accustomed to describe it in the theory of the neuroses 
when an individual concentrates his libido on the ego, and gives out 
none of it for the charging of objects. The germ cells need their libido 
— the activity of their vital instincts — for themselves as a provision for 

their later enormous constructive activity Thus the Libido of our 

sexual instincts would coincide with the Eros of poets and philosophers, 
which holds together all things living' (pp. 63-4). 

The other suggestive passage concerns a new departure in regard to 
the sadistic component-instinct, according to which it may be recognised 
as a death-instinct which has been expelled from the ego and becomes 
manifest only in relation to an object (p. 68 et seq.). A confirmation of 
this brilliant assumption would lie in the fact that the oral instinct, 
which is undoubtedly the forerunner of the sadistic, is similarly directed 
to the annihilation of the object. 

In spite of all these discussions the actual problem has not yet been 
reached. The ego instincts which lead towards death betray their 
descent from the inorganic stage in the repetition-compulsion. It still 
remains an open question, however, how the origin of sexual propagation 
—the mingling of two cells— and the source of the sexual instincts which 
work against the forces of death are to be conceived. Referring to 
Plato's well-known Eros theory, Freud gives the generally accepted 
reply. ' Are we to follow the clue of the poet-philosopher and make the 
daring assumption that living substance was at the time of its animation 
rent into small particles, which since that time strive for reunion by 
means of the sexual instincts? That these instincts— in which the chemical 
affinity of inanimate matter is continued — passing through the realm of 
the protozoa gradually overcome all hindrances set to their striving by 
an environment charged with stimuli dangerous to life, and are impelled 
by it to form a protecting covering layer? And that these dispersed 
fragments of living substance thus achieve a multicellular organisation, 
and finally transfer to the germ-cells in a highly concentrated form the 
instinct for reunion? I think this is the point at which to break off' 
(pp- 75- 6 )- 


The value of speculative conclusion of the work under review is 
apparent when we reflect that the assumption of a death-instinct existing 
from the beginning of things is only conceivable along with that of a 
life-instinct which arose at the same time. It may be possible from some 
such standpoint to reconcile the contradictions which even a brilliant 
dialectic has been obliged to leave standing in the course of pre- 

In this brief summary of the course of the argument in the work 
under review critical remarks have only been inserted at certain points 
in a cursory manner. It is now perhaps opportune to make up for this 
deficiency and to pronounce more clearly on the place these ideas take 
in the structure of psycho-analytical theory, and on their significance in 
determining the direction along which progress will be made. Here 
however we receive a check owing to difficulties which cannot be 
overlooked. In the first place we are obliged to admit that these pro- 
positions have an only partly valuable character, in so far as they 
represent a theoretical superstructure built on assured and tested obser- 
vations; in many respects however they anticipate these latter and are 
merely 'points of view' fAnschauungen), with which a philosophy 
seeking to account for the sum of things probably works. There is, as 
we noted in the introduction, an unmistakable tendency towards finding 
some comprehensive view of the things which the writer had been 
occupied with for several decades. Criticism has to take this circumstance 
into consideration, since it has in consequence to deliver judgement on 
the different planes of a scientific handling of the subject and a philo- 
sophic one. It is not difficult to see where this change of critical stand- 
point should be made. So long as it is a matter of the ways in which 
instinctual life finds its expression and of the laws to which it is subject, 
the author stands on the firm footing of the data given; he collects his 
facts with a sure grasp, and dissects the material which we have daily 
to deal with in psycho-analytic work. While we can bring in our ex- 
periences to support the evidence, it is an easy matter for us to give the 
author our full concurrence and agreement. Further on, where the dis- 
cussion turns on the possible origin of the instincts, the empirical facts 
prove insufficient, and a wide scope is opened for speculation. Different 
sides will be taken according to disposition or temperament, but in the 
end only intuition can enter the lists against intuition. Or should we 
leave it to the advance of psycho-analysis to make it clear how far the 
material that further experience may yield will admit of reconciliation 
with these broadly outlined ideas? 

We cannot conclude this appreciation without remarking on the 
characteristic method of exposition which Freud is accustomed to employ, 
extending to the shape in which the material he has to present is cast. 
This makes possible on the one hand a better understanding of the pro- 


cesses under discussion, and of the way in which authoritative con- 
clusions are contained in them; on the other hand it excuses criticism, 
which is not always capable of reproducing this description exactly or 
of doing complete justice in the reproduction to the theory built on it. 
It is an essential feature of Freud's literary method, resembling as it 
does that of art and philosophy, that the principal conclusions are 
embedded in the material of the exposition, that is to say, in the context 
and lose much of their pulsating force when denned as isolated con- 
ceptions. They can only so to speak be lifted with the clod of earth in 
which they have grown, and in such a manner be transplanted; psycho- 
logical truths demand the hand of a cautious gardener, otherwise they 
wilt and wither beyond hope of rescue in the atmosphere of everyday 
banalities. If then we have not succeeded in bringing out to the full 
the leading motifs of this contribution, our justification must lie in the 
peculiarity of the text just described. Considerable space has been 
devoted to the actual text of the original, and possibly our critical 
remarks have been in this way unduly extended, but we must hope to 
have avoided at least partially the errors referred to earlier. 

It remains to comment on the numerous suggestive ideas which we 
find up and down in this latest study of Freud's in addition to the main 
theme of the discussion. They are treasure-troves in themselves, and 
offer a wide field of work for analysts. We will confine ourselves here 
to a brief mention of what we were obliged to omit previously for the 
sake of clearness. Among the most important is the repeated emphasis 
on the necessity for analytic testing of our perception of time; we have 
frequently called attention to the fact that a correct view of this would 
enable the proper role of the pleasure-principle to be established. In 
the same way, we shall come upon much which admits of elaboration in 
relation to the psychology of the mental process of projection, and in 
regard to the sensation of pain. The problem of the repetition-com- 
pulsion which has a foremost place throughout is by no means exhausted 
by what has been already adduced. In the passage relating to the play 
of children there is a noteworthy hint that this conclusion renders super- 
fluous the theory of a special ' imitation instinct ' which is so dear to 
the psychologists of child nature. The possible operations of the 
repetition-compulsion extend far beyond psychic life, in accordance with 
its primitive nature. May not the rhythmic nature of many vital pro- 
cesses be brought into connection with it? (Respiration, pulsation etc.) 
Its influence on the origin of the psychic processes also remains to be 
investigated. Our previous analytic knowledge has led us to conjecture 
that the directions of instinct are always decisive for the transmutation 
of vital into psychic energy, or put otherwise, that the mind is as it 
were, entrenched on the directions of instinct. In the repetition-com- 
pulsion, as it presents itself for example in analysis, we see a peculiar 



twist: the instinct expresses itself as such and not in its psychic, or 
higher transmutation. But above all in this last work Freud shows 
himself to be the physician par excellence, whose abundant experience 
has laid a solid foundation for a bold theory. Only such a one wrote 
these words ' The clinical picture of traumatic neuroses approaches that 
of hysteria in its wealth of similar motor symptoms, but usually surpasses 
it in its strongly marked signs of subjective suffering — in this resembling 
rather hypochondria or melancholia, and in the evidences of a far more 
comprehensive general weakening and shattering of the mental functions ' 
(p. 8). Anyone who is capable or merely desirous of full comprehension 
of this saying, spoken by a mature and humane investigator, will gladly 
also engage on the difficult paths of theory. 

Michael Josef Eisler. 



The Psycho-Analytic Study of the Family. By J. C. Fliigel. 
(International Psycho-Analytical Library No. 3. International Psycho- 
Analytical Press, London. 1921. vii + 259. Price 10s. 6d.) 

Anybody who reads merely the title of this book will be struck 
by the immense field the author intends to cover and on second con- 
sideration we shall be even more impressed by the importance and scope 
of the subject. For we might say that the most important result of 
psycho-analytic research is to have discovered a prehistorical — because 
repressed — period in the history of the individual and the race, one at 
which all those relations which we observe between human beings — direct 
sexual attachment, hate and rivalry, union and social feeling (i.e. in- 
direct sexual attachment) — were being formed in the family circle. The 
ambitious aim of the author is therefore to give an exposition of the 
very pith and kernel of psycho-analysis and we can only say that the 
book is quite admirable from this point of view. Other summaries of 
the subject are principally written for the medical student; here we 
have a handbook which divides its attention between neurology, sociology 
and anthropology in an impartial and illuminating manner. 

The author leads us through well-known fields and expounds them in 
a manner calculated, at least partly, to overcome the natural resistance 
felt by the student and general reader when he finds himself compelled 
to face hard facts such as hatred in the family circle, the Oedipus- 
complex etc. Children express their views openly on these questions: 
'Thus a small boy of five known to the writer solemnly assured his 
mother that now that his father was permanently away, it would be 

(only right for her to marry him, her son, instead' (p. 18). But foolish 
grown-ups don't know how much they can learn from their wise infants. 
Fliigel always offers interesting and frequently original remarks. He 



regards the element of reverence and admiration found in the loves of 
young persons and adults as derived from the relation of the child to 
its parents, but we must add that the quantities of libido withdrawn 
from the ego and transferred to the object of love would also lead to 
this overestimation of the latter at the expense of the former. 1 Cyril 
Burt is quoted in connection with the transference of the Father-t»ia£o. 
He distinguishes two phases of development: in children between four 
and nine there is a displacement of erotic aspects to some older person 
of the opposite sex while the tenderness is still connected with the 
parent, whereas with children between ten and adolescence the new 
love objects are in their turn invested with the tender feelings. Per- 
haps the first phase corresponds to a definite social institution in phylo- 
genesis.- This would be the type of marriage in which ' the maternal 
grandfather and his daughter's daughter are potential consorts'. 2 The 
ultimate aim of development would seem to be the complete absence of 
infantile (i.e. incest) motives in the choice of the love-partner (p. 30), 
but I think we may well doubt the existence of such cases and postulate 
the latent working of the parent-tmogo in every love relation, although 
of course the effect may manifest itself either in a positive or a negative 
direction as a tendency to endo- or exogamic union. 

With true scientific impartiality the author finds a grain of truth 
in the fog of Jungian mysticism, viz. that the incest-complex may con- 
tain besides its original, directly sexual, meaning a functional represen- 
tation of natural inertia of the tendency to shirk the life-task and 
remain in the original position of dependence on the parents (p. 38). 
However in this case we ought to say rather that the tendency to shirk 
the 'life-task' is due to incestuous fixation to the parents and to a 
strong narcissism which withholds the libido, stores it up in the ego, 
and refuses to allow it to overflow towards new objects. Chapter V 
deals with the necessity of gradual emancipation from parental authority. 
'The rapidity with which, and the extent to which, a child attains to 
independence in relation to his family, are to a large extent prophetic 
of the subsequent attainment of independence towards the world at 
large' (p. 47). In Chapters VI and VII (Abnormalities and Varieties 
of Development.— Love and Hate— Dependence Aspects) we have an 
exposition of the general points of view of psycho-analysis with perhaps 
somewhat greater stress laid on the sociological and rationalistic (i.e. 
not purely libidinal) sides of these questions than we should expect 
from a psycho-analytic author. In Chapters VIII and IX (Ideas of 
Birth and Pre-Natal Life, The Psychology of Initiation and Initiation 
Rites) anthropology predominates. We shall hav e occ asion to show, 

1 See Freud: Zur Einftlhrung des Narzissmus. 1914- In Sammlung klciner 
Schiiften zur Neurosmilclire. 191S. Vierte Folgc. S. 107. 

* W.H.R. Rivers: The History of Melanesian Society. i9«4- Vol.11, p. 47- 




in another work, how the general opinion of psycho-analysis on intra- 
uterine life as the source of belief in a continuance of life after death 
(pp. 68 — 9) can be definitely demonstrated from anthropological data. 
Behind the ideas of spiritual (Jung) and physical rebirth (Frazer) the 
author regularly expects to find the incestuous aspect of uterine regression 
(p-73)- Fliigel's remarks on initiation are a summary and frequently 
a more detailed elaboration of Reik's views, (cf. for instance p. 85 on the 
various forms of, and motives for, castration rites.) The subtle in- 
fluence exerted by incestuous and narcissistic tendencies in the choice 
of partners in love-life certainly helps to maintain racial types (p. 105), 
a phenomenon of great importance which has hitherto not received the 
attention it deserves in anthropology. 1 The cultural overestimation of 
chastity is probably due to two factors; according to the masculine 
point of view it is associated with the resentment felt by the male child 
at the idea of the mother giving herself away to the father (p. 115), 
while if considered from the feminine aspect it appears as a narcissistic 
resistance against object-love. 2 

The immense social importance of the displacement of parent-hatred 
to the representatives of the father-ma^o as the primary affective motor 
of revolution (pp. 118, 119) is a subject which the historian of the future 
will have frequent occasion to meditate on. Indeed it is no exaggeration 
to regard every revolution as a repetition of 'man's first disobedience' 
in the Cyclopean Family. The medical practitioner as a parent sub- 
stitute (p. 120) opens up one of the pathways which lead to an under- 
standing of primitive magical practitioners; we only mention the con- 
stant connection between old age and the office of medicine-man. 3 Home, 
town, the Church and Nature are mother-symbols, the family and 
school may be ambisexual or represent either parent in a predominant 
degree. The maternal aspect of the state in democratic communities 
as contrasted with the importance of the father-imago in anti-democratic 
states (the Kaiser, the Czar) is certainly very striking (p. 127) ; it is 
probable that a gradual dissipation of the more repressive features of 
the father-imago and a gradual return of repressed elements will in the 
future help to maintain a sort of equilibrium in the social fabric, though 
of course society is impossible without some sort of coercion and 
authority. Fliigel's searching analysis of the customs connected with 
royalty deserves special attention and approval. He shows the 
aggressive basis of the taboos with which primitive kings are surrounded 
under the guise of deep consideration for the king's welfare and 

1 cf., however, R. Thurnwald: Die Gemeinde des Banaro. 1921, S. 202 252. 

* cf. Freud: Das Tabu der Virginitat. Sammlung kleiner Schriften. Vierte 
Folge. 1918. S. 229. 

» cf. Roheim: Primitive Man and Environment. This JOURNAL 1921. Vol. II. 
p. 175- 


enumerates the chief points which compel us to identify regicide and 
parricide, viz.: that the murderer is frequently the person who succeeds 
to the throne, the sacrifice of a king's son to prolong his own life, the 
connection of real or symbolic regicide with a sexual orgy, the marriage 
of the successor to the royal widow (frequently his stepmother, in the 
case of Oedipus his own mother) and the close connection between 
royal power and sexual activity. 4 

The treatment of the part played by the parent-regarding tendencies 
in religion is not quite satisfactory; unless we misunderstand the author, 
he seems to regard it as sufficient to show how the father-tmafo becomes 
displaced on the deity-concept, but lays no stress on the origin of the 
latter from contrition as a reaction-formation in the Brother Horde 
after the murder of the jealous Sire. On the whole, however, the 
chapter on the part played by the 'imagines' of the parents in religion 
is a good summary of our psycho-analytical views on these questions 
and contains much that is original (cf. p. 136, 'The All-Father', p. 143. 
'moral dualism in religion'). The Protestant movement is explained 
as an effort to eliminate the mother element and revert to a more archaic 
and repressive religious attitude (p. 145- 4 the well-known connecting 
links between Protestantism and Judaism). We are tempted to remark 
in this connection that there seems to be a certain correlation between 
the attitude adopted towards the earthly and divine representatives of 
the Father-iwa^o in the sense that the Son-Religion will often sublimate 
large amounts of revolutionary energy by diverting it from the person of 
the earthly to that of the heavenly father, from the realm of direct 
action to that of pure imagination and hallucinatory wish-fulfilment. 
The Jewish masses are disappointed when they find that Jesus of 
Nazareth refuses to lead them against the Emperor; what really happens is 
that the chaotic forces of social discontent are being sublimated into a 
movement which changes the aspect of things from within instead of 
from without. Although a rule with many exceptions, we may yet say that 

« The reviewer published a Hungarian paper on this subject in 19 17 ; 
for a summary of the contents see this Journal, current volume pp. 199-201. 
Coronation is really an inhibited regicide; the human sacrifices at coronation 
in Tahiti may be interpreted as substitutes for regicide. The act of coronation 
is concluded by a dance of naked men and women round the king, they all try 
to touch him with their genital organs and to soil his person with their urine 
and excrements. (Moerenhout: 'Voyages aux ties du grand ocean'. Paris. 1837. H. 
p. 27. quoted by Waitz-Gcrland: Anthropologic der NaturvOlkcr. 1872. VI. 
S. 198 ) Here we have a transference from father to king not only of the 
aggressive but also of the erotic elements of the Oedipus complex. As for 
the partial impulses concerned we note that the king throws money among 
the people at the Hungarian coronation: a reversal and sublimation (money 
replaces excrements) of the Polynesian custom. 


Protestant countries with their tendency to revert to a more exclusive 
Father-Religion are less likely to endure a tyrannical earthly ruler than 
Catholic ones, where the filial and mother regarding elements have a 
free outlet in religious wish-fulfilment. The doctrine of immaculate con- 
ception is referred to the desire to remove the father and all other men 
from the person of the adored mother (p. 146). We can go even further 
and show that ' no intercourse ' means ' incestuous intercourse ' and the 
idea of supernatural birth is always a repression of the incest-wish with 
a return of repressed elements in the person of the God-Father, 
Alcheringa Ancestor, etc. 

The interpretation of certain well-known features of Greek mytho- 
logy, Christian doctrine and ritual (Death of Christ, p. 148, Com- 
munion, pp. 150, 151) are well worth reading. Besides resuming the 
accepted views of psycho-analysis on these subjects, the author makes 
many original remarks on the ' attitude of parents to children ' (Ch. XIV) 
tracing the variations of the Oedipus complex together with its reaction 
formations, the displacements of love and antagonism through all 
possible situations in everyday life and custom. Having shown that the 
tendencies connected with the family are ' reducible upon analysis to a 
series of displacements of a very few original trends and impulses ' 
(p. 175), he tries to form some theories on the part we must attribute 
to these tendencies in phylogenesis. One interesting contribution of the 
author to our speculative theories is his view that there existed an 
age in which parent-child jealousy was less pronounced than in the 
age which preceded and in that which succeeded it, when an effort was 
made by humanity to relax the family tie, reduce its importance in 
favour of those ties of common interest which unite the individual 
with the community (p. 179). There is very much to be said in favour 
of this view and, if we do not forget that he means by 'totemic age' 
totemic people who have emerged from a state of primitive monogamy 
and are below the level of the patriarchal family, we may fully accept 
his position. Only we must remember two things. One is that the 
' totemic age ' of the Wundtian terminology is something very different 
from the epoch when totemism must have originated, a confusion apt 
to occur especially in the mind of the psycho-analyst who is of course 
more familiar with totemism as presented in psycho-analytic literature 
than as an institution among living savages. The second qualification 
we should like to make on the author's opinion is that such a tendency, 
always based as it must be on a withdrawal of libido from the hetero- 
sexual object and a reinforcement of the narcissistic and homosexual 
trends (in their crude or sublimated aspects), must have occurred several 
times as one of the two principal directions of the swinging pendulum 
of human attitudes in the course of phylogenesis. Notably we shall 


attempt to show in a subsequent publication that such an effort was 
first made in the dim prehistoric phase of humanity immediately after 
the Cyclopean family and that its survivals may still be traced in what 
is usually called group-marriage among savages. The present clan 
organisation — the social aspect of totemism being more prominent in 
this connection than the religious — would represent the second great 
move in this direction. It is well-known that totemism and initiation 
ceremonies frequently go together and Reik has already pointed to the 
tendency to sublimate the Oedipus complex by a reinforcement of the 
homo-erotic attitude especially in the second phase of initiation 

Increase in the repression of intra-family hate manifestations is due 
rather to the operation of 'moral' factors than to any growth of 
tenderness between parent and child (p. 183); indeed primitive parents 
are quite as tender and loving in their way as civilised ones and many 
cases have been recorded of explorers who have won their way to the 
hearts of coloured mothers and the tribe in general through the smiles 
of the future savage cannibals. Taking his instances chiefly from the 
well-known collections of data supplied by Frazer, Fliigel enumerates 
cases of incest among primitive peoples and explains exogamy as a 
repression of the formerly prevailing endogamic habits (pp. 195, 197)- 
The problem whether, as the author assumes, there is a general sex- 
inhibition which reacts on the incest-tendencies (p. 214), or whether 
sex-inhibition is originally due to the fact that the incestuous impulses 
of the young males clash upon a powerful outer resistance in the person 
of the paternal tyrant and after having identified themselves with him 
make this resistance part and parcel of their own psychic equipment, 
may be discussed from many points of view. Probably the author is 
right in assuming an original contrast between Individuation ( = nar- 
cissism ' storing impulse ' as Starcke calls it) and Genesis ( = object- 
libido); 1 the secondary introjection of the father's personality in the 
cannibal meal serving to reinforce the narcissistic resistance on a higher 
level of psychic organisation. 

The last chapters deal with the ethical and practical applications 
to be drawn from psycho-analytic research and are likely to appeal to 
the general reader. The general tendency of these applications is for 
gradual displacement of libidinous quantities from the more proximate 
to more removed objects; a displacement which, however, can never be 
complete, for resistance to change is the very foundation of human 
nature and indeed of nature at large. 'We can never root from our 

1 cf. FlOgel: 'On the Bio'ogical Basis of Sexual Repression and its 
Sociological Significance ', British Journal of Psychology. {Medical Section) 
1921, Vol. I. p. 192; A. .Starcke: 'Psycho- Analysis and Psychiatry ', This Journal 
1 92 1, Vol. II, p. 399. • 


mind the tendencies connected with this most intimate and essential of 
human connections; and this being so, it would only be in accordance 
with the most fundamental promptings of our nature to permit a certain 
proportion of the energy involved in these tendencies to continue to flow 
in its original direction' (p. 239). 

As a careful exposition of the results and views of psycho-analysis 
in general as well as an original contribution to the subject, the book 
will be welcome both to the general reader and to those who have 
worked in the same field. Geza R6he 

The Story of a Style. A Psychoanalytic study of Woodrow Wilson. 
By William Bayard Hale. (B. W. Huebsch, Inc., New York. 1920. Pp. 303. 
Price 2 dollars .) 

This is a remarkable and orginal study, written without any tech- 
nical aid but with rare psychological insight. Apart from the subject- 
matter, it is also interesting in developing a fresh method of psycho- 
logical investigation. It is an attempt to ascertain the psychological 
characteristics of a man, ex-President Wilson being chosen for the pur- 
pose, by a detailed examination of his language, a method which some 
day will be employed in the study of racial psychology, the differences 
between the English and American language naturally suggesting itself 
as a fruitful opportunity. 

The material for the study is taken from Dr. Wilson's writings during 
the past forty years, but some of his speeches are also drawn upon. 
These have been studied with a minuteness so extraordinary as to 
presuppose an unusually strong interest as motive. To count the various 
adjectives employed in thousands of pages must alone have been an 
immense labour. In spite of all the author's protestations to the contrary 
it is hard not to believe that the motive was a hostile one, if only for the 
simple reason that throughout the book every conclusion drawn is an 
unfavourable one. The author applies an almost impossibly high standard 
to his material, making no allowances for the licence generally allowed 
to the utterances of politicians and treating them as though they should 
have been models of scientific accuracy and close thinking. As this 
standard is never applied in such spheres it seems a little unfair to 
expect it of a particular individual. Further, the author is at times 
distinctly pedantic, as when he maintains that a preposition at the end 
of a sentence is necessarily a sign of bad grammar. 

Nevertheless, in spite of this unmistakable bias, it seems to us that 
the author has succeeded in proving his general thesis — namely, that 
it is possible to draw important inferences from a close study of a 
person's habitual language, and that in the case in question the general 
conclusions reached are the reverse of flattering. Even apart from the 


particular conclusions drawn, however, the book is well worth reading 
for the psychological acumen displayed throughout and as an example 
of what can be done with the method here utilised. He rightly 
says, for instance (p. 15) : ' It may be argued that when phrases become 
habitual, they lose their significance. The truth is they grow doubly 
significant. If we find that a certain set of phrases has become habitual 
with a writer, we are shown that the mental attitude or habit which they 
reveal has come in a noticeable degree to dominate his intellect'. And 
so, with a tireless energy, no indication of which can be conveyed in 
a review, he tracks down the characteristics of Dr. Wilson's phraseology, 
point by point, and pitilessly indicates the only conclusions that can be 
drawn from them. 

The main ones are as follows. The subject is convicted — one can use 
no other term — of a love of words in its worst sense, as an escape from 
the facts of real life. He is prone to perseveration and repetition to 
an extent that indicates a slow-moving or tired brain. He uses 
inordinately a small stock of words and phrases that are, in most of their 
contexts, devoid of any meaning. He substitutes vague cloudy expressions 
for clear definite thoughts. He prefers pompous phrases of a pseudo- 
scholastic kind. Snobbishness, romanticism and obstinacy are prominent 
character traits, as are a marked tendency to aloofness and a total 
inability to understand how there can be any other view except the one 
he happens himself to hold at the moment. 

The author's interpretation of these findings are that Dr. Wilson is 
a man of a less than mediocre mind, intellectually, and afflicted with 
a deep inner sense of doubt and inferiority, against which he has pro- 
tectively developed such reaction-formations as over-emphatic asser- 
tiveness and dogmatism. 

The sub-title of the book is scarcely justifiable. It is true that the 
author has evidently heard of psycho-analysis and here and there mentions 
it. It is also true that much of his mode of thinking is of the psycho- 
analytic kind and that here and there he shows considerable insight into 
psycho-analytical points of view: an instance of the latter is where he 
says, in speaking of the birth act (p. 200) : ' Among all the later tragedies 
of life there is probably none greater than those which crowd the path 
of the infant's adjustment to the realities of mundane existence.' But, 
as will be seen from the final interpretations quoted above, his point of 
view seems to be Adlerian rather than Freudian, and no attempt is made 
to penetrate through the preconscious layer to the unconscious in the 
psycho-analytical sense. Otherwise he would surely have pointed out, 
for instance, the plain indications of a God complex in the evidence he 
presents. Still we repeat that the study is one of remarkable interest and 
displays great psychological as well as literary capacity. E. J. 



OUR Invisible Selves. An Introduction to Psychoanalysis. By Walter 
M. Gallichan. (Athletic Publications Ltd., London. 1922. Pp. 122. Price 2s.) 

One more popular account of psycho-analysis. It is a quite adequate, 
though not particularly well-ordered account, and written with 
Mr. Gallichan's known capacity. It contains no serious inaccuracies 
and will doubtless succeed in its aim of popularising a knowledge of 
psycho-analysis. We would note one historical slip, on page 48; the 
case to which the author refers was treated forty-two years ago, not 
twenty-five years, and by Dr. Breuer alone, not by Freud in collaboration 
with Breuer. «■ J- 

Mysticism, Freudianism and Scientific Psychology. By Knight 
Dunlap, Professor of Experimental Psychology in the John Hopkins 
University, Baltimore. (C. V. Mosby Company. St. Louis. 1920. Pp. 173. 
Price 1.50 dollars.) 

This is truly a document kumaitt. For time to come it will serve to 
illustrate the way in which psycho-analysis was received by Scientific 
Psychology. We use initials for these holy words, as the author does, 
to shew him that we share his respect for them. They constitute the 
slogan with which he thunders and fulminates against the heresies of 
psycho-analysis. He belongs not to the newer type of critics who term 
Freud a genius but think he has 'overdone the unconscious '—to use 
the choice expression of another American professor of psychology but 
to the good old school who see no merit whatever in psycho-analysis 
and would extirpate it root and branch as an evil thing. 

A note of fear is struck at the outset. '(It) makes its immediate 

attack on the methods and results of scientific psychology The 

antagonism of spiritualism to science is more open and undisguised. 
Psychoanalysis, which attempts to creep in wearing the uniform of 
science, and to strangle it from the inside, is the more immediate 
danger,' and spiritualism can waif (p. 8). 'It is becoming as strongly 
entrenched as its several rivals - in the field and bids fair to be a 
formidable obstacle in the pathway of science for some years to come ' 

(p. 46). 

Feeling strongly on the matter, the author sets out to rescue the 
Scientific Psychology so sore beset and with every device at his 
disposal appeals to his readers' prejudices, 'logical', professional, 
moral and so on ; when all else fails he stoops to vituperation. He ' 
alludes to psycho-analysis as ' the whole poisonous vine, with its tendrils 
threatening to grasp and choke all forms of learning' (p. 162); to psycho- 
analysts by implication as 'charlatans and teachers of superstition ' (p. 173) 
or as people 'who do not understand the requirements of scientific reason- 
ing and do not know the empirical basis of mental science' (p. 165). 


Its effect on society ' is a part of the general problem of the circulations 
of pornographic literature, complicated, however, by the circumstance 
that a bolder front is put upon the salacious propaganda by the label 
of "psychology" or "science" .... Certainly the inculcation of Freudian 
principles should not be permitted to reach the very young, or the 
ignorant [!], any more than should obscene prints' (p. 105). He quotes 
an account of paranoiac delusions of reference as being 'perhaps the 
best description of the psychoanalytic method which has yet appeared' 
and courteously adds: 'In this connection, the delusions of grandeur 
and persecution, with inordinate jealousy, naively revealed in Freud's 
History of Psychoanalysis, are striking' (p. 84). 

It would perhaps be kinder to leave such a book, which might well 
be entitled 'The Ravings of a Scientific Psychologist', to the oblivion 
it deserves, and Professor Dunlap may rest assured that there is no 
danger of a psycho-analyst requiting him in kind; contortions of the 
kind he displays are to them phenomena like any other, having, it is 
true, their own special interest. As, however, the arguments attempted 
elsewhere in the book also possess a certain interest we shall examine 
them with attention. 

The book consists of three parts. In the first one a very readable, 
though brief, account is given of mysticism, its history and character- 
istics. The most salient of these, according to the author, is the view 
that there exists a third kind of knowledge, over and above the two 
recognised by science (perceptual and inferential), and higher in value 
than these. The acquirement of phenomenal knowledge by supernatural 
means, such as learning of someone's death through a vision, he terms 
'pseudo-mysticism'. He considers that the typical mystical experience, 
with its ardent sense of union and its ecstasy which 'in many cases 
would pass equally well as a description of the sexual orgasm ', is prob- 
ably due to physiological conditions of a distinctly sexual nature (p. 40). 

The fallacy known to logicians as the 'ambiguous middle term' is 
'the characteristic logical mark of mysticism, and wherever employed 
in a fundamental way, it marks as mystical the scheme in which it 
functions' (p. 43). 

The second, and largest, selection is devoted to psycho-analysis. 
In the first place, as usual, the conclusions of psycho-analysis are either 
not true or not new. 'Conscious activity in the past has its effects in 
both conscious and unconscious activity of the present, and non- 
conscious activity of the past may also have left an influence on conscious 
activity of the present. This is not a modern innovation or development, 
but has been the working basis of psychology for centuries' (p. 163). 
One has only to refer to pre-Freudian text-books of psychology to see 
how unblushingly false this statement is. Here and there, as rare ex- 
ceptions, surmises may be found in them about the probable influence 


of unconscious factors, but as to the nature of these factors, the way 
in which they operate, and the effects they produce our knowledge 
was of the slightest until psycho-analysis provided a technique for 
rendering them accessible to investigation. Again, 'the sex factor is, as 
has long been acknowledged, 1 one of the determining factors in all 
conscious life. 1 In the production of neuroses, it may perhaps be the 
most important factor of all' (p. 166). One can only wonder whom the 
author has in mind as acknowledging this estimation of the importance 
of sex, one going further than any psycho-analyst has ever maintained. 
The haste with which psychologists are now tumbling over each other 
to claim that ' they knew it all the time ' is becoming positively unseemly, 
and can only raise surprise about the secrecy with which they previously 
kept all this knowledge to themselves. 

It is more probable, however, that they do not realise the difference 
between this previous knowledge and the new knowledge they have even 
yet not acquired. How far Professor Dunlap, for instance, is from any 
actual knowledge of psycho-analytic work may be seen from one example 
alone : ' Nor was the situation to which the dream referred an unconscious 
one although the patient was not easily brought to the point of con- 
fessing it. This latter characteristic is true in my opinion of all the cases 
in which the Freudian analysis " strikes oil ". The situation which is dis- 
covered through analysis is one which is perfectly well known to the 
patient ' (p. 79). His pathetic ignorance of what happens in psycho-analytic 
treatment, as shewn in the following passage, needs only a touch of 
actual experience to reveal it in all its bareness: 'The patient, for 
example, is convinced that his neurosis is a result of the mother-complex; 
at first he is astonished at the psycho-analyst's discovery but by the 
copious use of symbolism, by the perversion of all the patient says and 
does, with that end in view, he is finally persuaded that the complex 
originated in him, and not in the psycho-analyst By constant contemplation 
of the complex and its magic relationships, all the symptoms of the 
patient's troubles become closely associated with it. If now the psycho- 
analyst can exorcise the demon he has raised the patient may be cured. 
He has followed an ancient prescription and thrown the patient into 
fits ; then cured the fits . . . In many cases, however the demon refuses 
to be exorcised or if he complacently leaves, returns shortly with ' seven 
worse than himself, and the latter state of the patient is worse than 
the first. It is apparently possible to restore by scientific treatment a 
patient who has been given a mother-complex by psychoanalysis; but 
the restoration is certainly a difficult process and the prognosis of the 
patient far less encouraging than for a patient who has not had psycho- 
analytic "help". It is probable that with the majority of candidates for 
psychoanalysis the co mplex is not develop ed in any serious sense. The 

> Italics not in the original. " 



patient craves the personal interest of the psycho-analyst or other 
practitioner and accepts in a superficial way any suggestion made by 
the sympathetic listener, provided these suggestions have a certain flavour 
of profoundity and are vehicles of hope . . . The confessional of the church 
achieves the same result in a more scientific way' (pp. 102-4). We 
quote this medley oi wholly unsupported mis-statements, which do not 
need detailed refutation here, only to demonstrate the author's unfamiliarity 
with the subject he is writing about; to anyone conversant with the 
facts themselves Professor Dunlap's remoteness from them is mani- 

The main thesis of the book is that psycho-analysis is a form of 
mysticism. To establish this the author has to relinquish, though not ex- 
plicitiy, his own excellent definition of mysticism, for it is plain that the 
psycho-analyst does not posit any special subjective experience, as all 
mystics do, nor does he lay claim to any third form of knowledge over 
and above the usual avenues of perception and inference. His observations 
may be erroneous and his inferences faulty, but this does not in itself 
constitute mysticism; gross examples of both may be found in all 
branches of science, even in Scientific Psychology, as witness the Parisian 
' discovery ' some years ago of the so-called N rays. 

The author is therefore driven to the use of his other, more doubt- 
ful criterion, whereby he stigmatises as mystical a particular form of 
logical fallacy. He maintains that the concept of the unconscious mind 
'is almost the exact correspondent of the philosophical mystic's third 
kind of knowledge ' (p. 46) ; ' Clearly in the Freudian system appears the 
fundamental anti-scientific postulate of mysticism : a form of knowledge 
—consciousness— which yet is not consciousness, something which, when 
it is convenient for the purposes of argument, can be given the attributes 
and qualities of consciousness, but which when these attributes are 
inconvenient is entirely divested of them-' (p. 89). Psycho-analysts are 
said to be guilty of the soul-destroying fallacy of the ambiguous middle 
term, the proof of which is that they use the word 'consciousness' 
sometimes in the sense of ' a state of awareness ' and sometimes to 
denote ' that of which there is awareness' (pp. 97, 98). The fact is certainly 
true, though incidentally it may be remarked that in German psycho- 
analysts try to avoid the possible ambiguity by using the two words 
' das Bewufite ' and ' das BewufStsein ' respectively, and if need be we 
could easily do the same in English by speaking of 'the conscious' 
(i. e. that of which there is awareness) and ' consciousness ' (i. e. the state 
of awareness) ; we may even make Professor Dunlap a present of the 
horrifying fact that the word is sometimes used in a further sense, one 
not dissimilar to ' the ego '. But what of it all f As he himself complains 
elsewhere (pp. 117, 118), Scientific Psychologists themselves have been 
guilty of the same procedure not only with this very word, but with 


many others, of which 'feeling', 'sensation', 'pain' are flagrant examples, 
and ambiguity certainly arises at times in connection with them. But it 
is a far cry from this to assert that a given system of psychology is 
altogether built on such an ambiguity and we are given no demonstration 
of it doubtless for the good reason that no such demonstration exists. 
Not even the first step is taken — namely of convincing psycho-analysts 
of the author's particular bogy in logic. To do this it is not enough to 
point out that a given term has two meanings ; before it can be shewn 
to be an ambiguous middle term the two meanings have first to be 
shewn to constitute a middle term at all in an argument We cannot 
think of any instance of this in psycho-analytical literature, nor does 
Professor Dunlap provide one. Surely the one function of terms is to 
convey meaning: if two meanings are conveyed at different times by 
the same word, the procedure may be an imperfect one, but it is not 
open to serious criticism until it is shewn that the main object of the 
procedure— to convey meaning— has failed, i. e. that misunderstanding has 

thereby arisen. 

The real gravamen of the author's criticism surely cannot lie here. 
It is only discovered when one realises that he himself is guilty of two 
serious dialectic errors. In the first place, he imposes on psycho-analysts 
his own particular meaning for a term, and then when this does not 
make sense in their context he accuses them of being illogical. Thus, 
mplying that the word consciousness has no other meaning than 
' awareness ' he is able to say of the ' mystical concept of the unconscious': 
'Awareness either is awareness or is nothing. A concept of awareness 
which at the same time is not awareness is impossible if we avoid the 
fallacy of the ambiguous middle term* (p. 122). Again, 'this makes it 
easy for the confused pseudo-psychologist to believe that consciousness 
may be unconscious, in some profound sense' (p. 125). A simple enough 
trick. For the criticism it is irrelevant that no psycho-analyst has ever 
supposed that the tendencies he terms unconscious have any awareness 
or consciousness of their own. By a twist of a word they can be accused 
of supposing this, though nothing is further from their plain meaning. 
Jt is exactly as though psycho-analysts were imagined to believe that a 
given process can be at the same time a conscious and an unconscious 
one, which the author evidently thinks they do. 

In the second place, by an extension of the same procedure the 
author is guilty of a still more elementary error than the one of which 
he accuses psycho-analysts, namely of that known as petitio principi: 
Throughout the whole book he assumes as a matter of course that 
'conscious' and 'mental' are synonymous terms. This he has every right 
to do if he finds it more convenient; terminology after all is nothing 
but a matter of expediency. But what he has no right to do is to assume 
that the two terms are also synonymous for psycho-analysts, when it is 


plain enough that they are not. By begging the whole question in this 
way he finds it easy enough to indicate what to him are self-contradictions 
in psycho-analytical phraseology. Thus: 'An unconscious wish either is 
an unconscious physiological process, in which case it is not a wish: 
or else it really is a wish, in which case it is conscious ' (p. 95). Obviously 
if one makes the grand assumption that any process in the organism of 
which the person is not aware is therefore physiological in nature, 
it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that 'the doctrine of unconscious 
mind becomes absurdly superfluous ' (p. 168). For anyone who doubts 
this assumption, however, even Professor Dunlap must admit that the 
conclusion does not follow. 

To the same misunderstanding is due the curious statement that 
'the Freudian doctrine of an unconscious-consciousness is possible on 
no other basis that that of epistemological dualism' (p. 122). There is 
not the slightest reason for thinking this. Psycho-analysis is equally 
compatible with materialism or idealistic monism as with any form of 
dualism. So far as psycho-analysis is concerned it makes no difference 
how conscious mental processes are regarded metaphysically, so long 
as unconscious mental processes are treated in the same way. 

This is not the place to repeat the arguments for describing in 
mental terms certain processes of which the person is not aware, which 
is what the psycho-analyst means by the term 'unconscious'; this has 
been most succinctly done by Freud in his Vierte Sammlung kleiner 
Schriften. The all-important matter, however, surely is, not what these 
processes are called, but what are their qualities and functions. To 
assert that they must be only physiological is simply nothing but an 
unsupported ipse dixit. The other alternative, which the author uses 
extensively, is simply to deny their existence. But to do this is to 
ignore an enormous mass of published material, the observation of 
which can be repeated and verified by anyone who takes the trouble. 
To ignore them: ca n'empiche pas d'exister. 

What the author has to say on the much-debated subject of infantile 
sexuality is just as beside the point. 'The Freudian hypothesis of in- 
fantile sex life is founded on the specific fallacy known to the logicians 
as the fallacy of secundiim quid. Reactions which later become a part 
of the general sex activities are found in the child, and therefore 
pointed out as evidence of sex activity. It is as if one should claim 
that the labored breathing produced by running to catch a street car 
is sexual because the same labored breathing may occur during certain 
stages of sex activity ' (p. 60). We have here once more the well-worn 
device of imputing to an opponent an absurd argument he has never 
used and then triumphantly pointing out its absurdity. The onus of 
proof is quite the other way. When a dumb idiot masturbates the pre- 
sumption is that the act is as much a sexual manifestation as though 


he could assure us in so many words that it was, at all events unless 
there is good reason to come to another conclusion. Similarly when 
an infant masturbates and continues the habit until he is old enough 
to describe it in adult phraseology, the presumption, in the lack of 
evidence to the contrary, is that it is as ' sexual ' in the earlier stages 
as in the later ones. 

To help those engaged in the study of neuropathology Professor 
Dunlap amiably offers his views on aetiology 'as a suggestion towards 
a more thoroughgoing understanding of the neuroses ' (p. 108). In his 
opinion neuroses are characteristically due, at least in the male, to ab- 
normal sex activity with its resulting 'emotional antagonism, which 
amounts in many cases to a definite, although temporary, splitting of 
personality in its vital emotional foundation'. He adds, in a remark on 
which we will not comment, that 'such significant factors in the 
possible etiology of sex neuroses are entirely ignored by psycho- 
analysis' (p. in). 

Nevertheless, despite all, psycho-analysis has one virtue. 'Psychology 
has been culpably negligent in regard to the study of the desires, and 
the one positive service which the Freudians have done is in emphas- 
izing the incompetence of our information (and also of their own in- 
formation) on this important subject' (p. 159). 

The third section of the book is on the Foundations of Scientific 
Psychology. The author lays down a series of unimpeachable truisms 
relating to scientific method in general and then seeks to apply them 
to psychology in particular. This results partly in an elementary text- 
book of school psychology and partly in an extensive attempt to 
translate psychology into terms of neurology. Throughout the book 
much use is made of William James' division of temperaments into the 
two classes of the 'tough-minded' and the 'tender-minded' respectively, 
with the object of shewing how psycho-analysts fall into the latter 
category. Their fallacy of the ambiguous middle term ' gives a specious 
explanation, comforting to his demand for easy but final knowledge, 
and relieving him of any tendency to seek for actual scientific explan- 
ation ' (p. 98), for ' when by mere application of a priori principles an 
emotionally satisfactory explanation of the universe can be obtained 
without the baffling labor of scientific analysis and experimentation, ob- 
viously scientific methods will not be applied'. Whether the practice 
of psycho-analysis is so much easier and less laborious a method for 
the study of human motives than that pursued by most writers of text- 
books of psychology is a matter on which no judgement can well be 
passed except by those who have had personal experience of both : it 
is one on which psycho-analysts certainly need fear no comparison. 
But the most interesting point in this imputation of James' 'tender- 
mindedness' to psycho-analysts is that the author quite forgets James' 



original application of it to those psychologists who, like Professor 
Dunlap, are too 'tender-minded' to face the subject-matter of their 
own science without taking refuge in the soothing practice of indulging 
in neurologizing tautology. *" '* 

The Meaning of Dreams. By Isador H. Coriat, M.D. (Mind and Health 
Series. Little Brown & Company, Boston. William Heinemann, London. 
1920. Pp. 194. Price 1.75 dollars.) 

The theme of this book, and its attempted scope, cannot fail to be 
of interest, but it is difficult to see how Dr. Coriat reconciles his 
appreciation of Psycho-Analysis (he goes so far as to say in his Preface: 

' This volume is written along purely psycho-analytic lines Its aim is 

to give the general reader an outline of the meaning of dreams as 
elaborated by the psycho-analytic school ' . . .) with the dream-inter- 
pretation he supplies again and again in his book. It is true that he 
often explains he can only give imperfect descriptions and explanations 
owing to the limited space, but this hardly accounts for interpretations 
which are either quite superficial or inaccurate. As an example, 
Chapter III ('Dreams as the fulfilment of Wishes') may be referred to. 
We read: 'A young man on a short visit to a congenial household 
dreamed that the recently planted bulbs in this household had sprouted 
and bore flowers. The wish in this dream is perfectly clear: it expresses 
the desire to prolong the visit, and this is expressed by the length of time 
it takes bulbs to grow' (p. 53). One may remark, in passing, that this 
sort of 'explanation' cannot possibly be of use to anyone— even if it 
were in any way correct — since it reveals nothing whatever of the 
unconscious elements which created the dream nor the mechanisms at 
work in it. But does Dr. Coriat imagine that here he is writing ' along 
purely psycho-analytic lines', or indeed doing anything connected even 
remotely with dream-interpretation? The curious part is that he 
has a whole chapter of thirty pages devoted to 'The Mechanism of 
Dreams ', in which he writes of Dream-Symbolism, Dream-Displacement, 
Dream-Condensation, etc. etc., yet in his applications, he behaves mostly 
as though he were unconscious of such processes. One finds serious 
confusion in statements made throughout the book, surprising from a 
writer who claims to have studied his subject seriously. For instance, 
on page 1 we are told that the dream ' may be symbolic of something 
deepseated in the personality of the dreamer, or it may indicate something 
trivial . . .', while on page 3 we read : ' no dream ever deals with trifles, 
but only subjects of great personal interest to the dreamer '. (Italics are 
the Reviewer's). 



On page 86 there is so remarkable a statement that one is surely 
justified in feeling that it proves that whatever may be said about ' The 
Meaning of Dreams ', it can hardly be accused of following the Freudian 
theory. Here it is: 'This process of Repression is not always voluntary, 
but may be an involuntary act as well, in order to protect the mind from 
ideas and feelings which are unpleasant and painful'. And this after 
extensive quotation from Freud's own work! 

Barbara Low. 


'Roland.' Un Symbole. Par J. Vodoz. (Paris, Edouard Champion, 1920.) 
As the psychology of the unconscious slowly penetrates into France, 
where the reasonable side of human mentality is so much vaunted, the 
charge of exaggeration and uncertainty is brought against it with perhaps 
more than usual energy and want of discrimination. There are cases, 
we know, in which the charge may be only too well grounded; and it is 
unfortunate that it should be so apposite to the present work, described 
in its preface as ' une tentative d'appliquer les theories de la psychologie 
analytique, a l'etude d'un sujet digne d'attirer . . . toute notre attention ', 
but in reality offering no very reliable support for the conclusions it 

It is at least a merit that the author does not call his work a study 
in the application of psycho-analysis to the criticism of literature. Almost 
the only scientifically acceptable part of his theory regarding Le Chanson 
de Roland is that which represents the poem as in part a dramatization 
of the Oedipus complex. In virtue of his love for his mother (symbolized, 
usually, as France) Roland opposes Ganelon, his step-father, and 
independently refuses the proffered auxiliary aid of Charlemagne, the 
King; and a justifiable and interesting article (perhaps not more) might 
have been written to show in what degree the tragic events that followed 
were bound up with these psychological factors alone. Instead, much 
of the denouement is made to depend on Roland's suddenly realizing 
(through some mysterious and undefined agency) that his attachment to 
his mother is a harmful thing and must be sacrificed ... ' et ce premier 
pas fait, ses yeux s'ouvrent: dans le pere, il ne voit plus, uniquement, 
le representant de l'autorite, de la force, l'intrus — il reconnait les autres. 
attributs: la toute-puissance s'exercant dans la bonte, l'amour se 
manifestant dans le desir de sauver . . .' Roland is therefore a symbol of 
the highly-civilized notion of self-sacrifice, and the poefs moral lesson 
for his compatriots is ' Renoncez a suivre vos instincts egoistes. Ne 
recherchez pas dans ce que vous appelez l'amour du sol natal la satis- 
faction de vos desirs de bien-etre et de volupte. Unissez-vous en sujets 
soumis a votre roi, que veut €tre votre pere.' It is not for nothing, 



apparently, that in a footnote on symbols (p. 5-6) Jung heads the list 
of three authorities given and Freud is not mentioned. 

The same arbitrariness of interpretation appears in the treatment of 
separate incidents, as where the flight of the Saracens is understood to 
symbolize the victory of Roland, the Christian, over the forces of 
Paganism. ' Dans son inconscient, lc Chretien avait encore des affinites 
avec l'islamisme; de la un vague sentiment de culpabilitc, l'instinct de 
son tort'. But this vague sentiment of culpability seems to be in no way 
distinguished, in respect of its depth and significance, from what psycho- 
analysis regards as the genuinely fundamental instincts. 

When we come, in Chapter III, to Victor Hugo's poem, ' Le Manage 
de Roland ', which deals with the episodic contest between Roland and 
Oliver and their final decision to give it up and compound for it in 
Roland's marriage with 'La belle Aude', we find this interpreted as a 
symbol of Hugo's feelings towards the Nineteenth Century conflict 
between Classics and Romantics, which the poet more or less 
unconsciously recognized as compromising the reputation and dignity 
of France and French poetry. Much more plausibly, towards the end, 
reference is made to certain of Hugo's family relationships— especially 
as regards his father— which would have made it natural for him 'a 
s'identifier avec celui qui proteste'. But these elements are not given 
their due prominence and proportion in the conduct of the argument. 

M. Vodoz concludes his study with some remarks to the effect that 
Romanticism might profitably be studied with reference to the psychology 
of the unconscious, and it appears that he himself is engaged upon such 
an enquiry. It must be hoped that he will learn to approach the subject 
in a more scientific and less capricious spirit than he manifests here. 
He may then produce a work of real value on a subject which is full of 
interest. L. C. Martin. 

The Liierature of Ecstasy. By Albert Mordell. (Boni & Liveright. 

New York. 1921.) 

Mr. Mordell does a certain service in publishing from time to time 
the results of his reading and re-consideration of literature from what 
is in many ways the psycho-analytic point of view, though in exactness 
and precision of expression his work leaves a great deal to be desired. 
Like his earlier volume, 'The Erotic Motive in Literature', the present 
work covers a large and varied field, surveying literary mankind ' from 
China to Peru', from Homer to Chekhov, from Beowulf to William 
Butler Yeats. There are chapters on the psychology of ecstasy, the 
historical relations of prose to poetry, love-ecstasy in Arabian literature, 



etc. Mr. Mordell adopts the term 'ecstasy' for the release of the 
emotions in artistic activity and appreciation, or rather for the feelinsr 
of that release, and the expression is not unjustifiable. But his inter- 
pretation of the etymology seems at least questionable: 'Ecstasy is 
derived from the Greek word which means to make stand out; the mind 
makes sensible things stand out because it is concentrated on particular 
emotions, and on the ideas associated with and springing from these 
emotions ' (p. 18). The usual interpretation seems much less strained 
and no less appropriate to Mr. Mordell's thesis: 'ekstasis', a standing 
out of oneself, e.g. in a poetic frenzy. 

The leading idea, conferring upon the work such unity as it can 
claim, is that the distinction between poetry and prose is less valid than 
is commonly assumed, that verse can be prose and prose can be poetry, 
and that feeling and imagination (or 'ecstasy') are primary factors in 
' poetic ' literature. This, although as Mr. Mordell himself shows not 
a very unfamiliar idea, even among pre-Freudian critics of literature, 
is an idea that deserves encouragement and in some measure receives 
it here. But Mr. Mordell seems occasionally to show a somewhat narrow 
vision when deciding what literature is 'ecstatic' in the highest sense 
of the word, and his remarks on Keats's sonnet about Chapman's trans- 
lation of Homer seem to show a radical weakness in his point of view. 
' The whole idea of this poem is in tha comparing his first discovery of 
Homer to the feelings of the man who discovers a new planet, and to 

those of the discoverer of the Pacific Ocean But can this poem 

compare with such other sonnets of his where he lays bare his inmost 
emotions . . . etc.' (p. 237). Surely if psycho-analysis, teaches anything 
it is that a poem like the sonnet in question may convey in veiled terms 
those very ' inmost emotions ' which are the stuff of all great poetry, 
and until we know more about Keats's mentality it is a little arbitrary 
to decide which of his poems meant most to him, or expressed his deepest 

Again, in his anxiety to prove his case that rhythm is unessential, 
Mr. Mordell seems greatly to underestimate the value of rhythm as an 
emotional stimulus. This appears, for instance, when he takes five lines 
of Paradise Lost, paraphrases them into prose, and then asks us to 
believe that he has done no harm to the poetry. The lines are the well- 
known ones: 

What though the field be lost? 

All is not lost; the unconquerable will . . . etc. 

The paraphrase: 'And suppose we lost the battle? We have not lost 
everything. We still have our unconquerable will . . . etc.' (p. 68) It is 
amusing, but it would also be very regrettable if criticism on this level 



were to be commonly associated with the application of psycho-analysis 
to literary interpretation. What is wanted, of course, is a serious dis- 
cussion of the curiously strong part that rhythm has played in the arts 
of poetry and music. It would be interesting, for example, to know to 
what extent the appreciation of rhythm is bound up with the hearing or 
feeling of regular pulsations during the pre-natal existence. It is not to 
be lightly disregarded. 

It is unfortunate, too, that Mr. Mordell occasionally uses his terms 
with great looseness,— that he can speak, for example, of 'ecstasy', 
'the imagination', 'the unconscious' as if they could be synonymous; 
that his facts and quotations are not marshalled with more precision and 
economy; and that he employs a highly reiterative and often an 
unnecessarily contentious and resentful style. In these ways he is likely 
to alienate the sympathies of many readers who might profit by a 
recognition, or at least a consideration, of some df his main principles. 

L, C. Martin. 

Love - Marriage - Birth Control. Being a speech delivered at 
the Church Congress at Birmingham, October 1921. By Lord Dawson 
of Perm. (Nisbet & Co. London. Pp. 27. Price is.) 

It is notoriously difficult to elicit any unbiassed information on the 
subject of sex from physicians of high repute. One can, for instance, 
conclude with fair precision that if asked any question concerning the 
relation of abstinence to health, they will answer that the correlation 
between the two is a positive one, i.e. that the more complete the 
abstinence the more perfect the state of health, and that there is no 
connection between enforced abstinence and any form of nervous dis- 
order; it is answer which would surprise one were it given as regards the 
functioning of any other of the bodily or mental systems. In this brochure 
Lord Dawson courageously lifts at least a corner of the veil. He admits 
that at all events during marriage such abstention may be ' harmful to 
health and happiness' and that it may ' impose a strain hostile to health 
and happiness '. He further challenges the recent pronouncement of the 
Church as set forth at the Lambeth Conference and maintains, in 
opposition to this, that ' Sex love has, apart from parenthood, a purport 
of its own. It is something to prize and to cherish for its own sake. It 
is an essential Dart of health and happiness in marriage . 

P ■ E.J. 



The Mechanism of the Brain and the function of the frontal lobes. 
By Professor Leonardo Bianchi. Authorized translation by James Mac- 
donald M.B., F.R.F.P.S/ (Glasg.). (E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh. 

Pp- 335-) 

This work which contains 62 figures of the brain and four diagrams 

is a closely reasoned argument in favour of the author's views respecting 

the functions of the frontal lobes. 

Two-thirds of the book are devoted to the evolution of the nervous 
system, the morphology and structure of the frontal lobes, the associative 
paths between the frontal lobes and the sensory areas of the cortex, a 
discussion of the results obtained by other physiologists, clinical data 
and the results of the author's own experiments on dogs, foxes and 

Professor Bianchi regards the frontal lobes as the ' centre ' of all the 
other ' centres ' and agrees with Lugaro that they are ' the organ which 
registers the story of the acts of all one's life (experience), the organ 
which feels the most intimate impulses of the organism and elaborates 
the particular mode of reaction to external stimuli'. 

Patients who have suffered damage to their frontal lobes become more 
impulsive and exhibit alterations of character in other respects. Animals 
whose frontal lobes have been extirpated do not associate an impression 
with past experience and are less keen in perception. Their memory is 
reduced for both recent and remote events, their associative, power is 
diminished and their judgment poor. There is absence of initiative and 
they cannot see a joke. In other words the author concludes from his 
many observations during no less than thirty years that the frontal lobes 
are the physical basis of the highest functions of mentation. 

The concluding chapters deal with Intelligence and Language (with 
an appendix on Logic), Emotions and Sentiments (with an appendix on 
The Social Sentiment) and Consciousness. These really amount to a 
brief but excellent text-book on psychology, not — however — from a 
physiological, but from a psychological point of view; and we find that 
this great physiologist is also an excellent psycholgist. This combination 
is, we believe, extremely rare if not unique. 

But more! Professor Bianchi accepts the doctrines of psycho-analysis, 
teaches that thought and action are controlled by feeling, recognizes the 
existence of the unconscious and attaches importance to it. ' The 
unconscious is like the depth of the sea as contrasted with the surface 
where the ship of life sails smoothly on or is tossed among the waves; 
it is like the bowels of the earth which furnish gold and coal for our 
existence; or like the immensity of space in which, even with the aid 
of a telescope, our eyes can see only a comparatively small number of 
stars, distant millions of miles from one another, yet all influencing each 
other by physical laws What appears on the surface is but a small 


part of all that exists'. This is from the pen of a man who was pub- 
lishing results of his physiological researches at least as far back as 
1878; it seems incredible. 

In view of these considerations it would be churlish to say one word 
about the few minor inaccuracies and misunderstandings respecting some 
psycho-analytical details. 

We must confess, however, that we fail to see what contribution this 
psychological part of the book makes towards the Professor's main 
thesis — the functions of the frontal lobes — for there does not appear to 
be any attempt to correlate these mental processes with their physical 

The book is beautifully got up and there are two very complete 
indexes of subjects and authors. We cannot conclude without con- 
gratulating Dr. Macdonald on the excellence of his translation. 

W. H. B. Stoddart. 

A Psychoanalytic Study of Psychoses with Endocrinoses. By Dudley 
Ward Fay, Ph.D. (Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company, 
Washington 1922. pp. 122.) 

This is a record of 22 cases of psychosis in which coincident 
endocrinosis was diagnosed and treated. Twenty are labelled 
schizophrenia, while the other two (a maniacal-depressive and an 
epileptic) presented schizophrenic features. Fourteen of the patients were 
hypothyroid, five were hyperthyroid and two were diagnosed as 

From this contribution there appears to be no clear relationship 
between schizophrenia and any specific endocrine; but glandular therapy 
appropriate to each case met with some success (mentally) as long as it 
was continued. The patients returned, however, to their former mental 
condition when glandular therapy was stopped. 

It is clear that the author possesses psycho-analytic knowledge and 
he attempted to analyze some of these patients — not, however, with 
much therapeutic success. Fellatio, acknowledged or repressed, seems 
to have played a conspicuous role in about one-third of the cases. 

We doubt whether this study has much scientific value. The patients 
were all psychotic, some for many years, and they were selected because 
they presented obvious symptoms of some endocrinosis. It would have 
been of much more scientific value to study the endocrinology of a series 
of selected patients suffering from some specific psychosis or the 
psychoses of a series of patients presenting some specific endocrinosis. 

W. H. B. Stoddart. 


Sex problems in women. By A. C. Magian, M.D. (Win. Heinemann 
[Medical Books] Ltd., 1922, pp. 219, Price 12s. 6d.) 

An author who sets out to write a book on a particular subject 
should above all make himself acquainted with the most recent literature 
on the subject, and although he may not agree with the views expressed 
therein should include them in his book. This condition is certainly not 
fulfilled in Dr. Magian's book. If he had written it twenty years ago it 
might have been accepted in the general run of such books, and then 
relegated to a forgotten corner of the library. 

The book is written in a popular style and would be more suited to 
lay readers than medical men. The author's pretensions are good if 
only they had been carried out satisfactorily. 

No book of this nature is complete in the light of our present 
knowledge unless it contains an exposition on the development of the 
sexual instinct, its manifestations from infancy to adult life, and the 
abnormalities to which it is liable. But in this work we find no reference 
to these points, yet the works of Freud and his followers have thrown 
an immense light on these problems. Without this knowledge no one can 
hope to understand and explain the various problems dealt with in this 
book. The psychical side of these problems has been left practically 

untouched by the author. 

Many of the statements appearing in the book are quite at variance 
with what we now know of the sexual life of women, and some of the 
advice given is positively dangerous. Two examples taken at random will 
illustrate what we mean. 

On p. 7 the author states, 'Homosexuality in women is rare, and 
when it does occur is usually due to mental disorders '. 

On p. no the author states regarding the treatment of sexual per- 
versions ' He (the practising physician) can at all events point out the' 
dangers of the habit and purposely draw a lurid picture of the disasters 
which may follow if it be not at once discontinued '- 1 Further comment 
on the passages is unnecessary. 

If the following statement of the author were in any way correct the 
country would need a great increase in the number of Mental Hospitals. 
On p. 9 he says, ' Some (methods of preventing conception) are harmless, 
others react powerfully upon the nervous system and produce well-marked 
neuroses and psychoses. 2 Coitus reservatus and coitus interruptus are 
particularly harmful to women in the latter respect.' 

The authors experience must have been unique when he writes, 
' Young unmarried girls not infrequently consult a doctor for the mere 
purpose of being examined and thereby obtaining a certain amount of 
sexual excitement and gratification' (p. 2). It is difficult to believe that 

1 The italics arc the reviewer's. 



young girls would choose this way of endeavouring to obtain sexual 
gratification when the result is so likely to be a negative one and easier 
paths are open to them. 

The author's chapter on Anatomy and Physiology is satisfactory as 
far as it goes, but it exhibits the same defect as the rest of the book in 
that the physiology is lacking in the more recent investigations, and 
only a passing reference is made to modern endocrinology in relation to 
the female sex organs. 

On the whole there is very little to commend in the book, and what 
there is is nullified by its inaccuracies and lack of present-day 

The subject is a very important one, but books of this description do 
not tend to increase the general practitioner's knowledge of the subject, 
as the author evidently set out to do from his preface. 

D. B. 

Medical Research Council. First Report of the Miners' Nystagmus 
Committee. (His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1922. Pp. 64. 
Price is. 6d.) 

This little volume is an important contribution to our knowledge of 
an industrial disease, popularly known as ' miners' blindness ', that 
incapacitates thousands of workmen, and by which the country loses 
many millions of pounds a year. The main part of the report is taken 
up by a masterly study of the condition by Dr. Lister Llewellyn, the 
foremost authority on the subject. He deals at length with all its aspects, 
historical, symptomatological, diagnostic and aetiological. He has 
established beyond doubt that the chief determining factor is the matter 
of lighting in mines and has made practical suggestions about how this 
may be remedied. 

To readers of this Journal, however, the subject proves to have an 
unexpected psychological interest. Llewellyn and others have shewn that 
there is a curiously small correlation observable between the presence 
or severity of the disease itself, which essentially consists in ocular 
nystagmus, and the extent to which the men actually suffer. Pronounced 
quivering of the eyes may co-exist with little subjective discomfort, while 
a man may be totally incapacitated when his physical signs are quite 
slight. As the practical effects of the condition depend on the amount 
of suffering rather than the mere presence of nystagmus, attention 
therefore becomes directed to the nature of the factor determining the 
former, especially as that determining the latter is now known. It is 
agreed that this new factor is a purely mental one and the committee 
therefore called in a psychologist, Dr. Rivers, to express his views 



about the probable nature of this. Unfortunately the matter seems to 
have been considered without its being thought necessary to make any 
actual investigations, and the a priori conclusions to which Dr. Rivers 
comes in his report are therefore deprived of the value they might 
otherwise possess. He points out that the eye is an important organ, 
that fear of blindness is strong and widespread, that imperfect vision 
may entail dangers in mines, and on the basis of these considerations 
puts forward the view that the essential psychical factor concerned is 
fear due to the threat to the instinct of self-preservation. In doing so 
he ignores the fact that hundreds of cases of ophthalmic neuroses 
have now been investigated and not one has been shewn to have any 
such aetiology. On the other hand he makes no mention of the aetiology 
actually found in all these cases — namely, that the neurosis (and the 
fear of blindness) is related to intrapsychical conflicts concerned with 
(a) the erotogenic function of the eye, and (b) the phallic symbolism 
constantly involved. We would hazard the guess that if these cases 
of miners' nystagmus were to be investigated it would be found that the 
essential cause of the suffering is in a large number of them, possibly 
in all, a castration fear. This suggestion, unlike Dr. River's, is based 
on data, but evidently only actual investigation would decide which of 
the two is correct. E. J. 

National Welfare and National Decay. By William McDougall, 
Professor of Psychology in Harvard University. (Methuen & Co., London. 
1921. Pp. 214. Price 6s.). 

Dr. McDougall is also among the prophets. In this volume he 
expresses certain alarming conclusions he has come to as the result of 
his studies, and issues a stirring appeal for immediate action if national 
disasters on a wide scale are to be prevented. 

The main problem with which the book is concerned is the reason 
for the regularly recurring decline of high civilisations. The author 
deals only very slightly with the equally interesting question of the rise 
of such civilisations. He describes the typical course as being that of a 
parabola and thinks that several Western and Northern nations, more 
especially England, have passed their climax and are about to enter on 
a phase of rapid declension. The reason he gives for this prediction is 
that ' Our civilization, by reason of its increasing complexity, is making 
constantly increasing demands upon the qualities of its bearers; the 
qualities of those bearers are diminishing or deteriorating, rather than 
improving' (p. 170). These qualities are deteriorating because there is a 
constant selection going on of the more valuable units of the population 
into those classes which are much the least fertile (one half of the 


propagation in England, for instance, is said to be effected by one sixth, 
and that the least valuable, of the population). There comes a moment, 
more or less suddenly, when the given race can no longer reproduce 
valuable members in sufficient numbers to sustain the ever-increasing 
demands of complex civilisation, and that moment, in Dr. McDougall's 
opinion, is now upon us. 

The reasoning of this argument is impeccable, so that the conclusions 

must be valid if only the premises are sound. To establish them on a 

sound basis, however, a good deal has first to be proved. To begin with, 

to what extent are mental qualities transmissible by inheritance? Much 

evidence is adduced to indicate the probability of this, and the views of 

some psycho-analysts as to the inheritance of innate ideas are favourably 

quoted. Most of the evidence, however, is concerned with only one 

mental quality, intelligence. Apart from the criticism of this evidence 

that might be offered on the ground that it too readily postulates the 

unitary character of ' intelligence ', we would remark that Dr. McDougall 

does not sufficiently discriminate, in our opinion, between the two senses 

in which he uses the term ' valuable mental qualities '. Sometimes, 

especially when waxing dithyrambic on the Nordic race, he seems to 

use the term to indicate those qualities which he personally would most 

like to see prevailing in a community, whereas at other times he uses 

it in the only sense in which it is relevant in the present connection, 

to indicate those qualities of the highest survival-value for a race. It 

is true that he very often identifies the two: 'This undefined innate 

basis of moral character is perhaps of all innate qualities the most 

valuable possession of any human stock. It is the innate basis of a 

quality which we may best name trustworthiness. This quality is no 

simple unit; it cannot be ascribed to the operation of any one instinct; 

and, though it implies intelligence, it is not closely correlated with high 

intelligence. In respect of this complex and vaguely defined quality, 

races and people seem to differ widely. Without its presence in a high 

degree, no people can achieve or sustain a high level of civilization. . . . 

It is not too much to claim for this quality that it is more important 

than any other, intelligence not excepted, for the maintenance of a high 

level of civilization' (pp. 139, 140). Having done this, he expresses 

the opinion that these valuable moral qualities are to be correlated with 

intelligence (p. 141), this having the obvious advantage that one could 

then assume that they, like it, are inheritable. But it seems to us that 

before one can leap to this conclusion far more precise investigations 

are necessary in the way of analytically defining the nature of the qualities 

to be estimated, and then proceeding to discover to what extent they 

are capable of inheritance. 

That the more well-to-do classes of the community reproduce their 
kind (even after allowing for their lower death rate) in a lesser degree 



than do the rest of the community seems to be definitely established by 
statistical evidence, therefore it becomes necessary to shew that the 
members of the community entering the ' better ' classes are selected 
just for the moral qualities in question to the impoverishment of the 
other classes. The matter is not to be settled by such an ipse dixit as 
the following: 'the top stratum in England, the upper professional and 
commercial classes, together with the aristocracy, which is constantly 
recruited from them (and from America), is probably richer in valuable 
human qualities than any other large group now existing — or was so 
before the war; while the lower strata contain a deplorable proportion 
of human beings of poor quality' (p. 158). For evidence Dr. McDou- 
gall has to fall back once more on the investigations of intelligence 
only, which support his case so far as they go, but which are deplorably 
insufficient for such a weighty conclusion. The prejudices of the 
Socialists will be still more offended by another statement according to 
which the impulse to save or hoard is said to be 'a quality essential to 
any people that is to build up a civilization based on the accumulation 
of wealth, on commerce and industry, as every communistic or socialistic 
has been. Owing to this necessity, every communistic or socialistic 
scheme which would abolish private property is an empty dream, an 
unrealizable ideal, a Utopia' (pp. 130, 131). 

Various proposals advocated for the supposedly rapid deterioration 
of our stock are examined and for the most part rejected. Dr. McDou- 
gall would of course extend the present practice of birth control to the 
poorer classes of the community as being at least a partial check on the 
rate of deterioration and he comments as follows on the present situation 
in regard to it in America: ' In this all-important matter of birth-control 
the position of America is remarkable and uniquely disastrous. The 
educated classes seem to cultivate and practice the principles of birth- 
control more assiduously than any other class of persons in the civilized 
world, while, mirabile dictu, they maintain laws which forbid the 
extension of the knowledge of such principles to the mass of the people ' 
(pp. 163, 164). The plan that he most warmly advocates, however, 
after considering the extent to which legislation on such matters would 
be tolerated, is the endowment by a private millionaire of University 
teachers, as representing a selected class of the population, and lest he 
be charged, as other eugenists have, with not practising what they preach 
he includes in his book a beautiful photograph of his own five healthy 
and happy children. It will be seen that Dr. McDougall here departs 
from the more recent Eugenic schools, which attach more importance to 
negative selection, i.e. weeding out of the less valuable, than to positive 
measures such as encouragement of the finest stock. 

Dr. McDougall makes some very interesting contributions to the 
comparative psychology of various races, principally the Nordic and 


Mediterranean ones. We trust, however, that the evidence for his con- 
clusions in these respects is better founded and less obviously biassed 
than the following explanation of psycho-analysis. During his self- 
analysis at the hands of Dr. Jung he was not convinced of the latter's 
theory that the racial origins of patients can be discovered by the 
particular symbolism of their dreams, but he adds: 'One of Jung's 
arguments weighs with me a good deal in favour of his view. He points 
out that the famous theory of Freud, which he himself at one time 
accepted, is a theory of the development and working of the mind 
which was evolved by a Jew who has studied chiefly Jewish patients; 
and it seems to appeal very strongly to Jews; many, perhaps the majority, 
of those physicians who accept it as a new gospel, a new revelation, 
are Jews. It looks as though this theory, which to me and to most men 
of my sort seems so strange, bizarre, and fantastic, may be approximately 
true of the Jewish race' (p. 134). Here Dr. McDougall shews that 
if he has a pretty hypothesis that pleases him he is quite ready to invent 
facts in support of it. It doesn't happen to be true that Professor Freud 
• has studied chiefly Jewish patients ', nor that most of his supporters are 
Jews; there are local political reasons why this is so in his own country, 
but not more than one or two per cent of the members of the Psycho- 
Analytical Societies in Britain, Holland, and Switzerland, to mention 
countries where these factors do not operate, are Jews. The absurdity 
of the view on other grounds need not be demonstrated. 

Although, therefore, judgement should be reserved on many of the 
conclusions here propounded, there is no doubt that the book is a 
valuable and novel presentation of the Eugenic case and contains a 
number of highly stimulating suggestions. E. J. 

Little Essays of Love and Virtue. By Havelock Ellis. (A. & C. Black, 
Ltd., London, 1922. Pp. 187.) 

In these days when hatred, malice and all forms of uncharitableness 
seem to be the dominant forces in public life it is a relief to turn to 
the writings of such a man as Havelock Ellis, so gentle and soothing, 
yet brave and hopeful and imbued throughout by a spirit of good will. 
This volume of essays, the fourth he has published in the last few 
years, is written for the young and Dr. Ellis says in his Preface: ' I 
would prefer to leave to their judgment the question as to whether this 
book is suitable to be placed in the hands of older people. It might 
only give them pain.' They treat the subjects of love, marriage and 
the family in the attractive, well-informed and broad-minded fashion 
so characteristic of the author. For once a publisher's announcement 



tells the truth, when it says that this book is ' full of an amazing wisdom, 
gentleness, and beauty '. It is a book to read and enjoy, not to criticise, 
and we warmly commend it to all those who are interested — and who is 
not? — in the artistic and social aspects of love. 


The Stairway. By Alice A. Chown. (The Cornhill Company, Boston. 

.1921. Pp. 329.) 

The only slight interest which this eccentric book may possess for 
readers of this Journal is to be found in Chapter XIII. Here the 
authoress, in the course of her. hectic soul-development, which comprises 
quite a number of re-births, studies under a Freudian doctor, who was 
a Professor in Toronto University. She expresses her gratitude to 
Dr. Barnes (the doctor in question) and to Freud, saying: ' Freud and 
Dr. Barnes gave me a new comprehension of life, of freedom and truth , 
an appreciation somewhat mitigated by another statement made almost 
in the same breath: ' I was quite content to accept Freud if I were 
allowed to take him in my own way'. 

One had some suspicions that such was the attitude of many across 

the Atlantic who profess allegiance to new ideas (in a way familiar 

enough to us in Europe also), and this volume is a little bit of added 


Barbara Low. 

W. H. R. Rivers. M.D., D.Sc, F.R.S., F.R.C.P. 


We regret to have to announce the death of Dr. W. H. R. Rivers,, 
who died on June 4, 1922, after a short and painful illness, aged 58. 
He had become famous in the fields of anthropology, physiology and 
psychology and his work constituted a valuable nodal point bringing 
these three sciences into relationship with each other. He was elected 
an Associate Member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society in 
1920 and had recently expressed his intention of being present at 
the forthcoming International Congress in Berlin. 

Of Dr. Rivers' extensive labours in other fields this is not the 
place to speak. At the close of the War his interest was strongly 
directed towards psycho-analysis and he at once perceived the 
relationship existing between the psycho-analytical discoveries and 
the facts of social anthropology. From this period dates an 
interesting brochure entitled ' Dreams and Primitive Culture ', in 
which he laid strees on the resemblance between the Freudian 
mechanisms of dream-formation and similar processes at work in 
the formation of savage customs. He privately expressed his regret 
that he had not been trained in psycho-analysis before his visits to 
Melanesia, where he carried out most of his field work in ethnology. 
After his return to Cambridge, where he took up an important 
position as Director of Scientific Studies, he had no further 
opportunity of pursuing his study of psycho-analysis and his writings 
that emanate from this period became less sympathetic towards the 
subj ect. 

Though Dr. Rivers' interest in psycho-analysis appears to have 
been aroused at a conjuncture in his life that did not favour his 
undertaking a deep study of it, we deplore in his death the loss of 
of man who did much to introduce this study to younger workers, 
who was a distinguished man of science in other fields and who 
possessed a charming personality that no one who knew him can 
ever forget. E. J. 


Volume IE, Part 3 
Issued Sept. 1922